Health Care Facts & Figures

Health Care


Around the world 1,200 children die every hour (28,800 a day) of preventable diseases.

Developed countries in Western Europe, Asia and Latin America spend a greater share of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on child care and early education than the US.



The number of uninsured Americans peaked in 2010 just after the Great Recession at about 50 million. By 2016, this had dropped to 27 million. (approximately 9% of the U.S population) with the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

US Census Bureau and the Congressional Budget Office.

Latinos are most likely to lack health insurance in the US and their insurance rates nationwide have grown fastest since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  The proportion of people living below the poverty line who lacked health insurance had fallen from 28% to 17% in states that expanded Medicaid coverage under the law, while the rate remained unchanged at 36% in states that did not.

The Commonwealth Fund

20% of people in the US under 65 with health insurance reported problems paying their bills.

53% of those without health insurance said the same.

The New York Times and the Kaiser Foundation

The US spends more on health care as percentage of its Gross Domestic Product (17%), than any other nation.

The World Health Organization

64% of health spending is paid for by the government, funded via programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Veterans Health Administration.

American Journal of Public Health

Each year, the U.S. spends $9,451 for health care per person, with a life expectancy of 79 years.

Germany spends $5,267 per person and life expectancy there is 81 years

The United Kingdom spends $4,003 and life expectancy is 81 years.

Canada spends $4,608 and life expectancy there is 82 years

Japan spends $4,150 and life expectancy is 84 years.

The Kaiser Family Foundation and the World Bank

The United States life expectancy of 79 years ranks it 42nd among 224 nations, and 22nd out of the 35 industrialized countries, down from 20th in 1990.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Fact Book

On average, a U.S. male can be expected to live almost 4 fewer years than those in the top-ranked country.

National Institutes of Health Committee on Population

Of 17 high-income countries, the US has the highest or near-highest prevalence of obesity, car accidents, infant mortality, heart and lung disease, sexually transmitted infections, adolescent pregnancies, injuries, and homicides.

National Institutes of Health

Of the healthcare systems of 11 developed countries the US healthcare system to be the most expensive and worst-performing in terms of health access, efficiency, and equity.

The Atlantic

Medical/Maternity Leave

96% of working single mothers said paid leave to care for themselves or a sick family member would help them the most.

Bread for the World

The United States is the only developed country without paid maternity leave.

Bread for the World

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) passed in 1993, grants workers the right to 12 weeks of unpaid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. However most low income families cannot afford to take unpaid leave. In addition FMLA does not apply to all workers. In 2012, 44% of private sector workers were not eligible – either because they worked for a company with fewer than 50 employees or they had not worked the required 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months.

Bread for the World

In a survey of 7,000 small firms (less than 50 employees) that offer Family and Medical Leave Act (FLMA) voluntarily, 1% said that it affected them negatively. 33% reported a positive effect and the other 66% reported no noticeable effect.

US Department of Labor

In 1971 the US very nearly had a comprehensive federal childcare policy. The Comprehensive Child Development Act (CCDA) passed with broad bipartisan support in both the House and Senate but President Nixon vetoed it, saying that it would “Sovietize” the American family.

Bread for the World

The US has the highest number of maternal deaths in the developed world and 60% of these are preventable.

National Public Radio