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Visualizing Healthcare Spending by Country

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How Much Do OECD Countries Spend on Healthcare?

When you start feeling ill, the first line of defense is typically to have a doctor assess the symptoms—but how much you end up paying for a visit differs greatly by region.

Today’s interactive visualization was created by HealthDataViz consultant Lindsay Betzendahl, who also founded #ProjectHealthViz. The data considers how healthcare spending by country stacks up across the 36 Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) members, and how it has changed since 2010.

One thing is clear—the United States comes in first place in each category, but that’s not necessarily a good thing:

🇺🇸 United States🌐 OECD Average
Healthcare Spending (% of GDP)16.9% (#1)8.8%
Admin Costs as % of Health Spend8.3% (#1)*~3%
Per Capita Prices (Current PPPs, USD)$10,586 (#1)$3,992

*Although Costa Rica’s figure was higher in 2016, more recent data is not yet available.

Let’s look at each individual cost category, to see what else we can learn.

What Portion of GDP Goes Towards Health?

Population health is a strong determinant in quality of life. As such, how much a country spends on healthcare as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) can be an important indicator.

The U.S. spends 16.9% of GDP on its healthcare, nearly double the OECD average of 8.8%. That’s also over 4 percentage points (p.p.) above Switzerland, which ranks second with 12.2% healthcare spending by GDP.

The problem? While Switzerland consistently ranks as having one of the best healthcare systems in the world, the U.S. lags behind—which means that expenditures are not always translating into better health outcomes for patients.

Where’s the Money Going?

Looking after the health of millions of people is a lot of work, and this is where spending on healthcare administration and financing comes into play. Funds are allocated to medical resource providers, who manage everything from health records to salaries and insurance bills.

The U.S. spends about 8.3% of its total healthcare expenditures on these complex costs today, which is a marginal increase from 7.5% in 2010. Interestingly, Costa Rica’s healthcare spending on the same metric was even higher in 2016, at 9.5% of the total.

On the bright side, Mexico has been making strides in the past few years: administrative spending plunged from 10.3% in 2013, down to 4.6% in 2017.

Globally, advancements in health-tech are helping to reduce costs by streamlining tedious processes. However, it’s still not enough—and these immense costs trickle down to patients.

How Much Does Each Person Shell Out?

Over the past eight years, a majority of OECD countries have seen their healthcare spending per capita climb, with Luxembourg and Greece being the only exceptions. The average OECD country’s spend was $3,992 per capita in 2018, up from $3,080 in 2010—nearly a 30% increase.

However, the U.S. experiences the most dramatic sticker shock by far. At $10,586 per head, the U.S. average is already more than double the OECD average. What’s more, this is a 33.3% increase from $7,939 in healthcare spending per capita in 2010.

As the U.S. healthcare reform debate around prices and quality of care rages on, it’s important to remember that healthy people are the backbone of any country’s long-term economic growth.

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Demographics

Charted: Global Tobacco Use by Country and Sex

This visual shows tobacco use by country and sex, highlighting which countries still have a high prevalence of smoking.

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Chart of tobacco use by country and sex in 2022

Charting Global Tobacco Use by Country and Sex

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Globally, rates of tobacco use have been falling for decades. Today, it is estimated that one-in-five people around the world use tobacco products, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

That’s still enough people to have a sizable impact on both global healthcare and the environment. And the prevalence of tobacco use by country, and by sex, varies widely.

This chart shows current tobacco use in selected countries around the world using WHO estimates for 2022.

Which People Smoke the Most?

Below we examine the entire dataset of global countries by 2022 tobacco use. Estimates are of people aged 15 years and older and include both smoked and smokeless tobacco (including vaping). Countries that had no data for 2022 have been omitted.

In almost every country, males use tobacco more than females. Globally, 36% of men are tobacco users compared to just 8% of women.

CountryTotal Prevalence (%)Male (%)Female (%)
🇦🇫 Afghanistan22.138.35.9
🇦🇱 Albania22.438.76.6
🇩🇿 Algeria21.641.90.7
🇦🇩 Andorra33.633.333.8
🇦🇷 Argentina23.128.218.1
🇦🇲 Armenia22.549.31.7
🇦🇺 Australia12.514.810.3
🇦🇹 Austria22.023.720.5
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan19.339.60.1
🇧🇸 Bahamas10.720.62.1
🇧🇭 Bahrain18.125.74.9
🇧🇩 Bangladesh31.148.914.2
🇧🇧 Barbados6.511.71.7
🇧🇾 Belarus27.947.212.0
🇧🇪 Belgium24.727.422.1
🇧🇿 Belize8.715.51.9
🇧🇯 Benin5.59.51.7
🇧🇹 Bhutan19.627.211.0
🇧🇴 Bolivia12.220.44.1
🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina35.141.029.5
🇧🇼 Botswana18.130.26.5
🇧🇷 Brazil12.315.79.1
🇧🇳 Brunei Darussalam17.131.32.2
🇧🇬 Bulgaria34.038.130.2
🇧🇫 Burkina Faso13.521.75.5
🇧🇮 Burundi10.015.25.0
🇨🇻 Cabo Verde10.516.25.0
🇰🇭 Cambodia16.127.35.5
🇨🇲 Cameroon5.610.21.1
🇨🇦 Canada11.413.79.2
🇹🇩 Chad6.812.31.4
🇨🇱 Chile28.230.625.8
🇨🇳 China24.947.32.0
🇨🇴 Colombia8.212.14.5
🇰🇲 Comoros16.226.26.2
🇨🇬 Congo15.028.22.0
🇨🇰 Cook Islands25.530.321.4
🇨🇷 Costa Rica8.813.24.5
🇨🇮 Cöte d'Ivoire8.616.40.7
🇭🇷 Croatia32.634.231.1
🇨🇺 Cuba18.526.910.4
🇨🇾 Cyprus34.046.022.1
🇨🇿 Czechia27.531.723.3
🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo11.119.92.6
🇩🇰 Denmark16.216.416.0
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic10.214.06.5
🇪🇨 Ecuador10.117.62.6
🇪🇬 Egypt24.748.90.3
🇸🇻 El Salvador8.315.61.9
🇪🇪 Estonia25.632.919.1
🇸🇿 Eswatini8.616.21.4
🇪🇹 Ethiopia4.67.81.4
🇫🇯 Fiji27.341.713.1
🇫🇮 Finland19.623.915.4
🇫🇷 France29.231.327.3
🇬🇲 Gambia9.618.70.6
🇬🇪 Georgia29.054.77.1
🇩🇪 Germany18.821.316.4
🇬🇭 Ghana3.15.90.3
🇬🇷 Greece29.633.126.3
🇬🇹 Guatemala12.022.71.7
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau7.514.80.6
🇬🇾 Guyana10.519.32.2
🇭🇹 Haiti7.312.62.3
🇭🇳 Honduras12.222.71.7
🇭🇺 Hungary29.434.724.5
🇮🇸 Iceland9.49.49.4
🇮🇳 India23.936.810.4
🇮🇩 Indonesia38.573.63.4
🇮🇷 Iran (Islamic Republic of)13.924.83.1
🇮🇶 Iraq18.736.01.6
🇮🇪 Ireland18.220.516.1
🇮🇱 Israel19.826.413.3
🇮🇹 Italy20.424.116.8
🇯🇲 Jamaica9.515.83.5
🇯🇵 Japan16.826.57.7
🇯🇴 Jordan36.357.813.4
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan21.738.26.9
🇰🇪 Kenya9.216.62.1
🇰🇮 Kiribati38.251.625.7
🇰🇼 Kuwait22.735.62.1
🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan26.451.33.3
🇱🇦 Lao People's Democratic Republic25.843.28.4
🇱🇻 Latvia30.345.617.2
🇱🇧 Lebanon34.043.125.7
🇱🇸 Lesotho22.942.04.8
🇱🇷 Liberia7.112.51.7
🇱🇹 Lithuania27.940.117.3
🇱🇺 Luxembourg21.823.320.3
🇲🇬 Madagascar25.741.79.9
🇲🇼 Malawi7.113.01.7
🇲🇾 Malaysia22.643.80.7
🇲🇻 Maldives29.343.610.1
🇲🇱 Mali7.614.40.7
🇲🇹 Malta23.225.520.6
🇲🇭 Marshall Islands30.451.88.6
🇲🇷 Mauritania9.417.22.0
🇲🇺 Mauritius20.038.12.8
🇲🇽 Mexico14.623.16.9
🇲🇳 Mongolia29.352.67.3
🇲🇪 Montenegro32.130.933.2
🇲🇦 Morocco13.125.31.0
🇲🇲 Myanmar43.969.419.2
🇳🇦 Namibia12.521.34.7
🇳🇷 Nauru49.550.348.7
🇳🇵 Nepal24.942.79.4
🇳🇱 Netherlands (Kingdom of the)20.122.517.7
🇳🇿 New Zealand11.412.710.2
🇳🇪 Niger7.714.01.3
🇳🇬 Nigeria2.95.40.4
🇳🇴 Norway14.014.813.2
🇴🇲 Oman11.017.40.4
🇵🇰 Pakistan16.927.76.2
🇵🇼 Palau17.026.37.3
🇵🇦 Panama5.18.41.9
🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea40.455.424.9
🇵🇾 Paraguay10.617.43.8
🇵🇪 Peru7.011.62.6
🇵🇭 Philippines20.436.24.3
🇵🇱 Poland23.227.619.1
🇵🇹 Portugal20.927.115.5
🇶🇦 Qatar18.824.62.3
🇰🇷 Republic of Korea18.932.75.4
🇲🇩 Republic of Moldova27.852.76.3
🇷🇴 Romania27.537.418.5
🇷🇺 Russian Federation27.242.014.8
🇷🇼 Rwanda12.017.76.7
🇱🇨 Saint Lucia13.624.83.0
🇼🇸 Samoa22.231.013.2
🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe7.112.61.8
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia17.428.42.1
🇸🇳 Senegal6.011.70.6
🇷🇸 Serbia36.638.834.6
🇸🇨 Seychelles20.834.65.7
🇸🇱 Sierra Leone11.417.35.5
🇸🇬 Singapore16.427.94.0
🇸🇰 Slovakia30.235.425.4
🇸🇮 Slovenia18.120.215.9
🇸🇧 Solomon Islands37.655.319.6
🇿🇦 South Africa20.335.16.5
🇪🇸 Spain24.927.522.5
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka19.137.82.4
🇸🇪 Sweden22.128.315.9
🇨🇭 Switzerland23.326.320.4
🇹🇭 Thailand18.937.71.8
🇹🇱 Timor-Leste37.664.59.8
🇹🇬 Togo5.610.20.9
🇹🇴 Tonga30.746.815.5
🇹🇳 Tunisia20.139.71.6
🇹🇷 Türkiye30.741.919.6
🇹🇲 Turkmenistan5.410.60.5
🇹🇻 Tuvalu33.848.319.0
🇺🇬 Uganda5.39.01.8
🇺🇦 Ukraine22.038.38.5
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates11.715.52.5
🇬🇧 United Kingdom13.115.011.4
🇹🇿 United Republic of Tanzania7.513.12.2
🇺🇸 United States of America23.028.617.5
🇺🇾 Uruguay19.323.016.0
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan16.231.81.0
🇻🇳 Viet Nam22.844.32.2
🇾🇪 Yemen20.833.77.9
🇿🇲 Zambia12.021.82.7
🇿🇼 Zimbabwe9.219.00.8

From a regional perspective, we can see many countries in Europe and Asia have higher rates of tobacco use. Indonesia and Myanmar specifically have some of the highest tobacco use rates in the world, with 73.6% of Indonesian men estimated to smoke or use tobacco.

In many Asian countries we also see a greater difference between male and female smokers compared to the rest of the world. In China for example, 47.3% of males are estimated to use tobacco compared to just 2.0% of females.

On the other hand, the Americas and especially Africa have a lower prevalence of tobacco use. Nigeria at 2.9% had the lowest rate of tobacco use in the world in 2022.

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