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International comparisons

While there are many similarities among Canadian provinces, there are also a number of differences in demographic variables such as age, population density and income. For this reason, a comparison with an international comparator can be valuable.

Peer countries

Canada’s health systems are often compared with those in Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. Like Canada, these peer countries have large developed economies with similar levels of resources to devote to health care. They also have comparable data collection methods.

Data table: International Comparisons, Peer Countries (XLSX)

Comparison results

This page presents the comparison results for Canada and the provinces with Canada’s peer countries on a number of health and demographic variables.

When a province is selected, the highlighted cells indicate the countries with results that are similar to those of the selected province (see the table notes).The country that has the most highlighted cells is likely the best comparator for the selected province. The total population is presented for reference only; it is not used for comparison purposes.

Highlighted cells indicate that values are within half a standard deviation from the selected province, where the standard deviation is based on data from the peer countries shown in the table below.

Choose a province:

Health System Descriptors for Peer Countries, Canada and Provinces, 2016 (or Nearest Year)

Health System Descriptor N.S. Canada Peer Countries Peer Countries Standard Deviation Peer Countries Average
(Range)
Australia France Germany Netherlands New Zealand Sweden United Kingdom United States

Notes

n/a: Not available.

PPP: Purchasing power parity.

The Gini coefficient is a standard measure of income inequality that ranges from 0 (when everyone has identical incomes) to 1 (when all income goes to only 1 person).

Obesity is defined as body mass index (BMI) greater than 30.

Provincial hospital average length of stay values are age–sex standardized to the 2011 Canadian population.

Sources

International

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. OECD Health Statistics 2017. 2017.

United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision (DVD edition). 2017.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. OECD Income Distribution Database (IDD). 2017.

Canada

Population: Statistics Canada. CANSIM Table 051-0001: Estimates of population, by age group and sex for July 1, Canada, provinces and territories, annual (persons unless otherwise noted), 2017. CANSIM Table 206-0033: Gini coefficients of adjusted market, total and after-tax income, Canada and provinces, annual, 2015. 

Spending: Canadian Institute for Health Information. National Health Expenditure Database. 2015.

Health care activities: Canadian Institute for Health Information. Discharge Abstract Database, National Physician Database and Canadian MIS Database. 2015.

Non-medical determinants: Statistics Canada. Canadian Community Health Survey. 2015.

Population
Total Population (Millions of People) 0.9 36.3 23.8 64.5 81.7 16.9 4.6 9.8 65.4 319.9 97.9 69.2
(4.6-319.9)
Population Density (Inhabitants per km2) 17.4 3.9 3.1 117.7 234.4 502.3 17.5 23.8 270.3 35.0 171.1 134.2
(3.1-502.3)
Percentage of Population Over Age 65 (%) 19.9 16.9 15.0 18.9 21.1 17.9 14.6 19.6 18.1 14.6 2.3 17.4
(14.6-21.1)
Income Inequality (Gini Coefficient) 0.298 0.314 0.337 0.297 0.289 0.303 0.349 0.274 0.360 0.390 0.038 0.324
(0.274-0.390)
Spending
Current Health Spending (Excluding Capital)
($US, PPP)
5,320 4,753 4,708 4,600 5,551 5,385 3,590 5,488 4,192 9,892 1,819 5,351
(3,590-9,892)
Private Share of Current Expenditure (%) 28.5 29.7 32.2 21.2 15.4 19.2 19.8 16.1 20.8 50.9 11.2 25.0
(15.4-50.9)
Health Care Activities
Hospital Discharges (All Causes, per 100,000 Population) 9,088 8,432 17,399 16,344 25,534 11,863 15,040 15,312 12,833 n/a 5,005 15,345
(8,432-25,534)
Hospital Average Length of Stay (All Causes, Days) 8.2 8.0 5.5 5.5 9.0 5.2 6.6 5.9 6.8 n/a 1.3 6.6
(5.2-9.0)
Acute Care Beds per Capita (per 1,000 Population) 2.3 2.0 n/a 4.1 6.1 3.6 2.7 2.3 n/a

2.5

1.4 3.3
(2.0-6.1)
Doctor Consultations per Capita 6.1 7.7 7.4 6.3 10.0 8.2 3.7 2.9 n/a 4.0 2.5 6.3
(2.9-10.0)
Non–Medical Determinants of Health
Percentage Daily Smokers (Self–Reported) (%) 15.4 13.0 12.4 22.4 20.9 19.0 14.2 11.2 16.1 11.4 4.2 15.6
(11.2-22.4)
Obesity Prevalence (Self–Reported) (%) 26.8 19.8 n/a 15.3 16.4 12.8 n/a 12.3 20.1 30.1 6.1 18.1
(12.3-30.1)