The United States scores lowest, or almost lowest in all indicators.

Health Care

GreenRanked first for statistic
RedRanked last for statistic
 Spending per Capita (US$)
Health Care as % of GDPTotalPublicPrivateUniversal Health CoveragePhysicians per 1000 PersonsCost Barrier to Health Care (% of Adults)
United Kingdom10.2$5,493$4,479$1,014yes3.07
United States16.8$12,555$10,644$1,912no2.633


Health expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product: OECD, 2021

All data from 2020 except for Australia, Japan (2019).

Spending Per Capita: OECD

All data from 2022.
Public includes government/compulsory, private includes voluntary payments.

Universal health coverage: The Commonwealth Fund, 2020

Physician density: World Health Organization

All data from 2020 except for Canada, France (2019) and Denmark, Japan, Sweden, United States (2018).

Cost Barrier to Health Care: International Profiles of Health Care Systems, 2017 Report

Percent of adults who experienced access barrier because of cost in past year, for 2016.


“Six Reasons Drug Prices Are So High in the U.S.”

January 17, 2024.
Rebecca Robbins and Christina Jewett.
New York Times. “Research has consistently found that drug prices in America are significantly higher than those in other wealthy countries. In 2018, they were nearly double those in France and Britain, even when accounting for the discounts that can substantially reduce how much American health plans and employers pay.”

“U.S. Health Care Spending Highest Among Developed Countries”

January 7, 2019.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“…health spending in the U.S. has been growing faster than the other OECD countries…U.S. health spending increased at an average rate of 2.8 percent annually between 2000 and 2016, which is greater than the OECD median annual increase of 2.6 percent.”

“U.S. Uninsured Rate Rises to Four-Year High” Dan Witters

January 23, 2019.
Gallup. The U.S. adult uninsured rate has been steadily increasing since 2016, standing at 13.7% by the end of 2018, the highest it’s been since the 2014 passing of the Affordable Care Act.

“Medical Care Is 3rd Leading Cause of Death in U.S.” Chris Kresser

January 19, 2019.
A study by Dr. Barbara Starfield, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, reveals how the U.S. does in health care compared to other developed countries. The U.S. ranked:
13th (last) for low-birth-weight percentages
13th for neonatal mortality and infant mortality overall
11th for postneonatal mortality
13th for years of potential life lost (excluding external causes)
12th for life expectancy at 1 year for males, 11th for females
12th for life expectancy at 15 years for males, 10th for females
The report also found iatrogenic (caused by medical treatment) damage to be the third leading cause of death in the U.S.

Page updated on 1/19/2024.