Number of all hospital beds in the U.S. 1975-2018

Trends indicate that the overall number of hospital beds in the U.S. is decreasing. In 1975, there were about 1.5 million hospital beds in the U.S., but by 2018 the number had dropped to just about 924 thousand. There is a growing trend towards consumer use of outpatient services, which tend to be less costly for patients. This may be only one reason why hospital bed numbers are decreasing in the United States.

Hospital beds

The U.S. has many types of hospitals, including non-profit, for-profit, and public. Among federal and non-federal hospitals, there has been the same decrease in the number of hospital beds, but there are significantly fewer hospital beds at federal hospitals. Despite seeing a decrease in the number of hospital beds, the hospital occupancy rate has only shown some variation.

Hospital costs

Costs also may be an important factor in the reduction of number of hospital beds in the U.S., however, costs do not appear to be on the decline. Data suggests that 2018 was the most expensive year for inpatient stays at U.S. hospitals. In fact, the United States has the highest daily hospital costs in the world. Hospital costs depend heavily on the condition that is being treated. Among acute conditions with the highest associated hospital costs in 2017 were acute cornonary syndromes.

Number of all hospital beds in the U.S. from 1975 to 2018

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Release date

January 2020


United States

Survey time period

1975 to 2018

Supplementary notes

This statistic was assembled from several documents released by the American Hospital Association.

Starting with the 2019 edition of AHA Hospital Statistics, the AHA no longer employs its own methodology to classify hospitals as registered. As a result of this change, the number of hospitals in this edition of Hospital Statistics increased by approximately 700, with 400 of those being community hospitals.

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Statistics on "Hospitals in the U.S."

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