How Much is Health Spending Expected to Grow?

An updated chart collection explores historical and projected trends in health spending, with a look at growth in prescription drug spending, out-of-pocket spending, and related trends.

Health spending slowed in 2021, following an acceleration in 2020 due mostly to government spending on public health and other pandemic relief. Annual growth in per capita health spending fell to 2.6% in 2021 from 9.9% in 2020. Health spending is projected to return to an annual growth rate of 4.8% between 2022 and 2031, as the consumption of health care services (utilization) rebounds and health sector prices grow due to inflation.

The analysis displayed in this chart collection uses 2021 National Health Expenditure (NHE) projections from federal actuaries. These and other analyses can be found on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.

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