Back to National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2019

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Canada is among the highest spenders on health care in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), at $5,175 per person in 2018.

That year, among 36 selected OECD countries, spending per person remained the highest in the United States, at $13,722.  For the United States, the public- and private-sector shares are for 2017, and the public-sector share of total health spending excludes compulsory private insurance expenditures.

Although Canada was above the OECD average in terms of per-person spending on health care, our public-sector share of total health expenditure (70%) was below the OECD average (73%). The public-sector share of total health spending is the sum of expenditures for government schemes and compulsory health insurance.

Here are the numbers for 2018 per-person spending in Canadian dollars, health spending as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) and the public/private split for the OECD as a whole and 9 selected OECD countries, including Canada:

  • OECD: $5,175 per person; 8.8% of GDP; 73% public/27% private
  • Canada: $6,448 per person; 10.7% of GDP; 70% public/30% private
  • United States: $13,722 per person; 16.9% of GDP; 49% public/51% private
  • France: $6,436 per person; 11.2% of GDP; 83% public/17% private
  • Germany: $7,760 per person; 11.2% of GDP; 84% public/16% private
  • Sweden: $7,061 per person; 11.0% of GDP; 84% public/16% private
  • Netherlands: $6,855 per person; 9.9% of GDP; 82% public/18% private
  • Australia: $6,488 per person; 9.3% of GDP; 69% public/31% private
  • New Zealand: $5,085 per person; 9.3% of GDP; 79% public/21% private
  • United Kingdom: $5,275 per person; 9.8% of GDP; 77% public/23% private

Note that these numbers reflect total current expenditure, excluding capital. Spending data is based on the System of Health Accounts.