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Life expectancy and health expenditures - first in a Synoptical Charts original series

In selecting my international sample, I decided to examine the Top 5 countries in each of four categories: Life Expectancy (longest), Infant Mortality (least), Health Care Expenditure per Capita (highest), and Prevalence of Physicians (greatest). My source for these stats was the invaluable [UPDATED 9/24: As a proxy for Hong Kong and Macau, I've used China's expenditure figure, since they've both been under Chinese rule for the last decade.]

Given where the two dimensions of this graph ultimately lead, I've nicknamed it "Death and Taxes (Sorta)."


  1. Awesome graph for comparing the two variables! If the data is real, the graph is a very fast and clear way of showing (among other things) the non-perfect correlation between spending and life expectancy, along with a list of which countries are (perhaps surprisingly) tops in life expectancy (by the chart) and other measure (by getting included on the chart).

    That said, I wonder about the Nationmaster data on per-capita expenditures. Singapore spending less than $1k per capita? Nationmaster has gotta be kidding me. Is the per-capita expenditure for ALL spending (personal plus corporate plus government plus whomever else), or just some subset?

  2. Thanks for the kind words. Glad you like the graph.

    Here's the definition of "expenditure" in this case, per Nationmaster:

    Total health expenditure is the sum of public and private health expenditures as a ratio of total population. It covers the provision of health services (preventive and curative), family planning activities, nutrition activities, and emergency aid designated for health but does not include provision of water and sanitation. Data are in current U.S. dollars.

    SOURCE: World Development Indicators database

    Looks like I may have inadvertently omitted Denmark, however; will update the chart and repost with that info.

  3. See updated version. Also, as it turns out, Denmark does not need to be listed here.


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