Global life insurance penetration 2017, by country

In 2017, life insurance penetration reached 1.2 percent in Canada according to McKinsey. This means that the value of life insurance premiums written in that year equaled 1.2 percent of the country’s GDP in that year. Meanwhile, the value of life insurance premiums in the United States equaled 2.8 of the country’s GDP. Life insurance provides financial protection to the dependents after the untimely demise of an insured individual.

The significance of insurance penetration

Insurance penetration is used to show how developed the insurance sector is in a particular country. The U.S. is the largest life insurance market globally, followed by Japan and China. These three countries also have the largest GDPs worldwide, which is set to remain true until at least 2024. The value of life insurance premiums written in Japan in 2018 was about 20 billion U.S. dollars more than in China. However, the GDP of China was almost three times that of Japan in the same year and the gap is set to widen even further by 2024. This difference explains why Japan’s life insurance penetration is 6.8 percent, whereas China’s is 2.7 percent.

Life insurance premiums as a percentage of GDP in selected countries worldwide in 2017

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Release date

October 2018



Survey time period


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