U.S. national health expenditure 1960-2020

Health expenditure in the U.S. has been a hotly debated topic among political parties, especially on the verge of presidential elections. Health expenditures in the U.S. have been increasing over time and are projected to keep increasing. As of 2018, the U.S. spent a total of 3.65 trillion U.S. dollars on healthcare. By 2020 health expenditures are expected to cross the four trillion dollars mark for the first time.

U.S. health expenditure in comparison

The U.S has some of the highest expenditures for health care in the world. With currently a total health spending of over 17 percent of the country’s GDP, the U.S. has far surpassed the country with the second highest health expenditure as part of GDP, Switzerland. The United States, despite having a mixed method of healthcare financing and insurances, also has one of the highest shares of domestic governmental health expenditures.

U.S. health care payers

There are several different governmental and non-governmental agencies that are responsible for health care funding and payments in the United States. Currently, private insurance and Medicare are the two largest payers of U.S. health care. Direct health care costs are not the only things that these payers are responsible for. They may also be partly responsible for prescription drug costs. Again, private insurance and Medicare are the two largest payers of prescription drug costs in the U.S. Among all the payers of health care costs in the U.S., state-funded Medicaid programs have experienced the highest level of health spending increases in recent years.

U.S. national health expenditure from 1960 to 2020

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Release date

April 2020


United States

Survey time period

1960 to 2020

Supplementary notes

* Projected.

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Statistics on "Health expenditures in the U.S."

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