National Health Expenditures: How has health spending growth changed over the last 40 years?

Printer-friendly version

How has health spending growth changed over the last 40 years?

The current trend appears similar to what occurred in the mid-1990s

How much will we spend on health in 2015?

  • 219 billion dollars
  • 1.6 percent growth
  • 6105 dollars per person
  • 10.9 percent of GDP

Source: National Health Expenditure Database, Canadian Institute for Health Information


  • A new period of growth is emerging. Since 2011, health spending has decreased by an average of 0.6% per year. This average rate is comparable with that in the mid-1990s.
  • Current trends reflect, in large part, Canada’s modest economic growth and fiscal restraint as governments focus on balancing budgetary deficits.
  • In contrast, from 1996 to 2010, major investments were made in health care, including spending on physicians, drugs, hospitals and advanced diagnostics.
  • Overall, the health-to-GDP ratio in Canada has trended upward in the last 40 years.

Use CIHI's accessibility request form to request CIHI documentation in an accessible format.