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 2021 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data. The analysis finds that, in 2021, 5% of the population accounted for nearly half of all health spending. At the other end of the spectrum, the 50% of the population with lowest total health spending accounted for only 3%.

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-KFF Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.

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