How Do Health Expenditures Vary Across the Population?

In a given year, a small portion of the population is responsible for a very large percentage of total health spending.  This slideshow explores the variation in health spending across the population through an analysis of the 2019 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data. The analysis finds that 5% of the population with the highest health expenditures accounted for nearly half of total health spending in the United States. At the other end of the spectrum, the half of the population with the lowest health expenditures accounted for only 3% of all spending.

It also examines spending variation by age, gender, race, insurance status and presence of certain health conditions.

The chart collection is part of the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.