Healthcare Industry Statistics: Expenditure & Workforce Overview

11 Jan 2022
The U.S. healthcare industry is one of the largest and most expensive, facing issues with costs, access to care, disparities, and workforce.

The U.S. healthcare industry is one of the largest and most complex in the world, with spending on healthcare accounting for a significant portion of the country's GDP. The industry is constantly evolving and has experienced several major changes in recent years, including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Top 12 Healthcare Industry Statistics

  1. The United States spends more on healthcare per capita than any other country in the world, with an estimated expenditure of $3.8 trillion in 2019.
  2. In 2018, healthcare spending accounted for 17.7% of the U.S. GDP.
  3. The U.S. healthcare industry is expected to grow to $6.2 trillion by 2028.
  4. In 2019, there were approximately 18 million healthcare workers in the U.S.
  5. The number of healthcare workers is projected to grow by 15% from 2019 to 2029.
  6. The number of uninsured individuals in the U.S. decreased from 44 million in 2013 to 26 million in 2019.
  7. The percentage of Americans with employer-sponsored health insurance decreased from 69% in 2000 to 55% in 2019.
  8. Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people over 65, covered 61 million people in 2019.
  9. Medicaid, the joint federal and state health insurance program for low-income individuals, covered 72 million people in 2019.
  10. The cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. is higher than any other country in the world.
  11. The U.S. has a higher infant mortality rate and a lower life expectancy than most other developed countries.
  12. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, are responsible for 7 out of 10 deaths in the U.S.

Overview of the U.S. Healthcare Industry: Important Statistics

  • In 2018, healthcare spending in the U.S. was more than double the average spending of other developed countries.
  • The U.S. has fewer hospital beds per capita than most other developed countries.
  • Over 40 million Americans live in areas that are designated as primary care shortage areas.
  • Approximately 20% of adults in the U.S. have a mental health condition.
  • In 2019, there were over 1 million hospital beds in the U.S.

Facts and Figures on Healthcare Spending

  • The U.S. has the highest healthcare expenditure per capita in the world.
  • In 2019, the U.S. spent an average of $11,582 per person on healthcare.
  • Hospital care accounted for the largest share of healthcare spending in 2018, at 33%.
  • In 2019, it was estimated that the U.S. spent $3.8 trillion on healthcare, which accounted for 17.7% of the country's GD
  • Physician and clinical services accounted for the second-largest share of healthcare spending in 2018, at 20%.
  • Prescription drugs accounted for 10% of healthcare spending in 2018.
  • The cost of healthcare services has been increasing faster than inflation over the past decade.
  • Healthcare spending is projected to continue growing faster than GDP growth over the next decade.
  • Healthcare expenditure is projected to increase to $6.2 trillion by 2028.
  • Factors contributing to high healthcare expenditure include an aging population, advancements in medical technology, and the high cost of prescription drugs.

Healthcare Costs Statistics

  • In 2020, the average annual premium for employer-sponsored health insurance was $7,470 for single coverage and $21,342 for family coverage.
  • The average deductible for individual plans was $4,364 in 2020.
  • Approximately 1 in 4 Americans struggle to pay their medical bills.
  • The cost of healthcare services can vary greatly depending on location and facility. For example, the average cost of a routine vaginal delivery can range from $2,244 to $12,000 depending on the hospital.
  • Prescription drug costs continue to rise, with the average annual cost of specialty drugs reaching over $79,000 in 2017.

Rising Costs of Healthcare Services

  • The cost of healthcare services has been increasing faster than inflation over the past decade, with an average annual increase of 3.6% from 2009 to 2019.
  • In 2018, the average cost of a hospital stay in the U.S. was $15,734.
  • The average cost of a routine office visit with a primary care physician was $125 in 2020.
  • The average cost of an emergency room visit without insurance was $1,389 in 2017.
  • In 2020, the average cost of a dental check-up without insurance was $288.
  • The average cost of an ambulance ride in the U.S. is approximately $1,000.

Health Outcomes Statistics

  • The U.S. has a higher infant mortality rate than most other developed countries, with a rate of 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2018.
  • Life expectancy in the U.S. is lower than most other developed countries, with an average life expectancy of 78.9 years in 2020.
  • Chronic diseases are responsible for a significant portion of deaths in the U.S., with heart disease and cancer being the leading causes of death.
  • Mental health conditions are prevalent in the U.S., with approximately 20% of adults experiencing some form of mental illness each year.
  • Health disparities exist among different racial and ethnic groups in the U.S., with higher rates of certain health conditions such as diabetes and obesity among minority populations.

Most Expensive Health Conditions in the U.S.

  • The cost of treating cancer in the U.S. is estimated to be over $150 billion annually, making it one of the most expensive health conditions.
  • Heart disease and stroke are also among the most expensive health conditions, with an estimated annual cost of $219 billion.
  • Mental illness is another costly health condition, with an estimated cost of $193 billion per year.
  • Diabetes is responsible for a significant portion of healthcare spending, with an estimated annual cost of $327 billion.
  • Chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma and COPD, have an annual cost of approximately $77 billion.

Healthcare Insurance Industry Figures

  • 55% of Americans had employer-sponsored health insurance in 2019.
  • In 2019, there were approximately 30 million uninsured individuals in the U.S.
  • Medicaid, the joint federal and state health insurance program for low-income individuals, covered 72 million people in 2019.
  • Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people over 65, covered 61 million people in 2019.
  • In 2020, the average annual premium for employer-sponsored family coverage was $21,342.
  • The Affordable Care Act reduced the number of uninsured individuals by approximately 20 million between 2010 and 2016.

US Healthcare Industry Size

  • The U.S. healthcare industry is one of the largest in the world, with an estimated size of $3.8 trillion in 2019.
  • The healthcare industry employs over 18 million people in the U.S., making it one of the largest employers in the country.
  • In 2019, hospitals accounted for approximately 33% of healthcare spending, followed by physician and clinical services at 20%.
  • The healthcare industry is expected to continue growing, with a projected size of $6.2 trillion by 2028.

US Healthcare Sectors Statistics

  • The hospital sector is the largest employer in the healthcare industry, with over 5 million employees in 2019. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • In 2018, hospitals accounted for over 33% of healthcare spending in the U.S. (Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
  • The pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing sector employed over 800,000 people in the U.S. in 2019. (Source: SelectUSA)
  • In 2020, the top-selling prescription drug in the U.S. was Humira, which generated over $19 billion in sales. (Source: Statista)
  • The home health and hospice care sector employed over 1.6 million people in the U.S. in 2019. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • In 2018, retail prescription drug spending totaled $335 billion in the U.S., accounting for approximately 10% of total healthcare expenditures. (Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)

Healthcare Workforce Statistics

  • In 2019, there were approximately 18 million healthcare workers in the U.S.
  • Registered nurses (RNs) make up the largest occupation in the healthcare industry, with over 3 million employed in 2019.
  • The number of healthcare workers is projected to grow by 15% from 2019 to 2029.
  • Over half of all healthcare workers are employed in hospitals, with approximately 33% working in ambulatory healthcare services such as physician offices and outpatient care centers.
  • The median annual wage for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations was $68,190 in May 2019.

Healthcare Workforce Roles and Wages Statistics

  • The healthcare industry is one of the largest employers in the United States, with over 18 million workers in 2019.
  • Registered nurses (RNs) make up the largest occupation in the healthcare industry, with over 3 million employed in 2019. The median annual wage for RNs was $73,300 in May 2019.
  • Physicians and surgeons are among the highest-paid healthcare professionals, with a median annual wage of $206,500 in May 2019. However, they also require a significant amount of education and training.
  • Other high-paying healthcare occupations include dentists ($159,200), pharmacists ($128,090), and nurse anesthetists ($174,790).
  • Healthcare support occupations such as nursing assistants and home health aides have lower wages but are still an important part of the healthcare workforce. In May 2019, nursing assistants had a median annual wage of $29,640 while home health aides had a median annual wage of $25,280.
  • In order to address shortages in certain areas of the healthcare workforce such as primary care providers and mental health professionals, some states have implemented programs to provide loan repayment or other incentives for individuals who work in these fields.

Summary

  • Healthcare spending in the U.S. was more than double the average spending of other developed countries in 2018.
  • The U.S. has fewer hospital beds per capita than most other developed countries and over 40 million Americans live in areas designated as primary care shortage areas.
  • In 2019, the U.S. spent an average of $11,582 per person on healthcare, making it the highest healthcare expenditure per capita in the world.
  • Hospital care accounted for the largest share of healthcare spending in 2018 at 33%, followed by physician and clinical services at 20% and prescription drugs at 10%.
  • Approximately one in four Americans struggle to pay their medical bills, and costs can vary greatly depending on location and facility.
  • The cost of treating cancer is estimated to be over $150 billion annually, making it one of the most expensive health conditions along with heart disease, stroke, mental illness, and diabetes.
  • The healthcare industry is one of the largest employers in the U.S., with over 18 million workers in 2019. Registered nurses make up the largest occupation with physicians and surgeons among the highest-paid healthcare professionals.Overall, while the U.S. has a large and growing healthcare industry, there are significant challenges related to high costs, access to care, health outcomes disparities among different populations, and shortages in certain areas of healthcare workforce such as primary care providers.

Sources

  • CDC National Center for Health Statistics. (2020). Infant mortality rates by race and Hispanic origin: United States, 2000–2018.
  • World Bank Data. (n.d.). Life expectancy at birth, total (years) - United States | Data.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Leading Causes of Death.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019). Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
  • National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. (2020). Health disparities.
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. National Health Expenditure Data.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics. Healthcare Occupations.
  • Kaiser Family Foundation. Health Insurance Coverage of the Total Population.
  • Commonwealth Fund. "How Has the Affordable Care Act Improved Americans' Health?"
  • eHealth. "2019 Obamacare Open Enrollment Report."
  • Health Affairs. "Hospital Prices Grew Substantially Faster Than Physician Prices For Hospital-Based Care In 2007–14."
  • AARP Public Policy Institute. "Rx Price Watch Report."
  • SelectUSA - Health Care Industry in the United States.
  • Statista - Top Selling Drugs of Pharmaceutical Company Humira by Revenue.

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