How has health spending on seniors changed?

Spending is highest on seniors, and population aging is a modest but steady cost driver

Has health spending on seniors changed?
Age group Population by Age Group Health Spending by Age Group
2000 2014 2000 2014

Source: The Canadian Institute for Health Information, National Health Expenditure Trends, 1975 to 2014.

Younger than 1 1.1% 1.1% 2.9% 2.9%
1 to 64 86.3% 83.2% 53.1% 51.1%
65 and older 12.6% 15.7% 44.0% 46.0%

Highlights

  • The share of public-sector health dollars spent on Canadian seniors has not changed significantly over the past decade and a half — from 44.0% in 2000 to 46% in 2014. During the same time period, the percentage of seniors in the population grew from 12.6% to 15.7%.
  • Seniors are a diverse group. In 2014, the latest available year for data broken down by age group, per-person spending for seniors increased with age:
    • Age 65 to 69: $6,424
    • Age 70 to 74: $8,379
    • Age 75 to 79: $11,488
    • Age 80 and older: $21,150
    On average, health care spending per person is highest for those 80 and older.
  • Overall, population aging is a modest but steady driver of increasing health care costs, estimated at 1% (approximately $2 billion) per year.