United States (US) health

About $4.3 trillion of the $10 trillion spent on health globally is in the US. Despite this huge investment, there are still wide disparities in health and health spending across the country. 

Photo by Kevin Lamarque, Reuters.

$550 billion was spent in 2016 on diabetes, low back and neck pain, other musculoskeletal disorders, ischemic heart disease, and injuries from falls.
18.5 years for females and 23.7 years for males is the calculated life expectancy disparity across states in 2019.
950,000 deaths per year in the US are due to cardiovascular diseases, but not equally across races and ethnicities.
60.1% of disease combinations had super-additive spending. This means that having more than one chronic condition leads to even more healthcare spending than two people each having a chronic condition.

Key findings

How did trends in in life expectancy differ among racial-ethnic groups and among counties between 2000 and 2019?

Nationally, life expectancy increased from 2000 to 2019 among the Asian, Black, Latino, and White populations (with largest increases in Black populations), but did not increase for the American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) population. 


Life expectancy and the magnitude of racial-ethnic disparities in life expectancy varied widely among counties. For all groups, improvements in life expectancy were more widespread across counties and larger from 2000 to 2010 than from 2010 to 2019.


Read: race and ethnicity across counties

How does the burden of deaths due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) vary by state and race and ethnicity group in the US?

CVD mortality varied widely by state and race and ethnicity group in 2019.

  • More than 25 million people died of cardiovascular diseases.
  • The mean age of individuals was 78.
  • 13 million (51.5%) were female and 12 million (48.5%) were male.
  • Almost 3 million (11.5%) were Black, 1 million (4.6%) were Hispanic, and 21 million (83.9%) were White.


Read: state-level cardiovascular mortality

Figure showing rates of cardiovascular disease per US state

Why did the COVID-19 death rates vary for Jan 1, 2020, to July 31, 2022, across the USA?

The lowest standardized death rates were in Hawaii and New Hampshire and the highest in Arizona and Washington, DC.


A lower poverty rate, more years of education, and a greater number of people expressing interpersonal trust were statistically associated with lower infection and death rates. States where larger percentages of the population identify as Black (non-Hispanic) or Hispanic were associated with higher cumulative death rates. 

Read: Assessing covid-19 pandemic policies

Interactive data visuals

Tracking personal health care spending in the US

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