Health care expenditure per capita in the U.S. 1960-2020

National per capital health expenditures in the United States have increased significantly since 1960. It is estimated that in 2020 per capita health expenditures will be more than 12 thousand U.S. dollars. For comparison, in 1960, per capital expenditures for health stood at 146 U.S. dollars. According to recent data, the U.S. has some of the highest health care costs in the world.

Health care expenditures

With increased per capita health expenditures, U.S. health care expenditures as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) have also increased over the decades. Among developed countries, the U.S. has the highest health expenditure as a proportion of the GDP. The high level of health costs in the U.S. may be attributable to high costs for prescribed drugs and health services as well as high administrative costs.

Cost areas

A large proportion of all health care spending in the U.S. is attributable to hospital care and physician and clinical services. In recent years, many sectors have seen an increase in health care spending. However, data suggests that prescription drugs have seen some of the most dramatic increases in spending in recent years. The annual prescription drug expenditures in the U.S. are expected to reach an all-time high by the end of 2020.

National per capita health expenditure in the United States 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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