National Health Expenditures: How has health spending on seniors changed?

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How has health spending on seniors changed?

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

Has health spending on seniors changed?
AgePopulation by Age GroupHealth Spending by Age Group


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

Less than one1.1%1.1%2.9%3.0%
1 to 6486.3%83.6%53.1%51.6%
Over 6512.6%15.3%44.0%45.4%


  • The share of public-sector health dollars spent on Canadian seniors has not changed significantly over the past decade — from 44.0% in 2000 to 45.4% in 2013. During the same time period, the percentage of seniors in the population grew from 12.6% to 15.3%.
  • Seniors are a diverse group. In 2013, the latest available year for data broken down by age group, per-person spending for seniors increased with age:
    • Age 65 to 69: $6,298
    • Age 70 to 74: $8,384
    • Age 75 to 79: $11,557
    • Age 80 and older: $20,917
    On average, health care spending per person is highest for those 80 and older.
  • Overall, population aging is a modest driver of increasing health care costs, estimated at 0.9% per year.

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