Global Health Care Costs

A look at the contradiction between health care spending and actual treatment. The US which spends more on private sector health care spending, still also has one of the highest levels of government spending on health care per capita. Furthermore, health care costs continue to rise, and place one of the greatest strains on government spending commitments in the developed world.

total health care spending - list of countries

This graph shows total health care expenditure (including both public and private spending). The biggest spender by a long way is the US, which spends over $8,000 per capita. This compares to less than $3,000 per capita for Italy, Greece and Portugal.

Hospital Beds per 1,000 Population density


Admittedly, the number of hospital beds per 1,000 of the population is not a comprehensive guide to the quality of health care. But, it is still interesting that the US has one of the lowest numbers of hospital beds per 1,000 (3.1) – despite the much higher total spending. Japan has the highest number of hospital beds at 13.7/1000 – yet quite a modest total health care bill.

On other measures, US seems to get poor performance from its spending.

% of health care spending as % of GDP Govt spending as % of total health care Per Capita expenditure 2006 (PPP) Doctors per 10,000 population Nurses / midwives per 10,000 Hospital beds per 10,000 Life Expectancy male obesity
UK 8.2 87.3 2815 23 128 39 80 22%
US 15.3 45.3 6719 26 94 31 78 31%

US v UK health care costs)

Rising Health Care Costs

source: KFF

Read moreGlobal Health Care Costs

UK Construction Sector Growth Stats 2012

The UK construction sector remains largely depressed with construction volumes still below pre-recession levels.

In headline figures produced by the ONS, the estimated level of the total volume of construction output in the third quarter of 2012 was the lowest since the second quarter of 1999.

The construction sector is one of the most volatile sectors in the economy, and can be seen as a barometer for the wider economy and economic performance. Although there are signs of some recovery in infrastructure investment, the current outlook looks pessimistic for future economic recovery.

UK construction sector

The annual growth of construction volumes mirrors the double dip recession. (economic growth)

The fall in construction during the 2008/09 recession was greater than the previous recession during 1991. Note the boom in construction during the late 1980s was much greater than the limited growth between 2005-08.

UK construction

Recently, the biggest falls have been in the private industrial and private commercial sectors of construction.

Read moreUK Construction Sector Growth Stats 2012

Broadband Statistics in UK and Rest of World

broadband statistics
Source: OFCOM

Broadband access in the UK. Also showing different access points to broadband.

In the space of less than 10 years, Broadband access has come to be seen as a vital public amenity. It is used for business, retail and is increasingly seen as one of the factors which can show the degree of economic development in an economy.

Also, in a fast moving market, there has been a strong growth of mobile broadband, as people increasingly check the internet from their own smart phones. With 20% of UK households still not receiving broadband, the government has announced policy measures to support the rolling out of broadband in rural areas.

Read moreBroadband Statistics in UK and Rest of World

Employment Rates – Population ratio

A look at some varying employment rates across OECD countries.


Source: OECD short term Labour Market stats

Employment rates are determined by the number of people of working age, who have a job.

The employment rate excludes:

  • People who are unemployed. – actively seeking work and willing to take work
  • People who are students
  • People who take early retirement.
  • People on disability or sickness benefits.
  • Parents staying at home to look after their kids.

Implications of Employment Rates

  • A fall in the employment rate to less than 70% is an indicator that the economy is working well below full capacity.
  • The government will be losing out on employment tax revenue
  • The government will be paying more on welfare benefits to support those out of employment.


Read moreEmployment Rates – Population ratio

Econ Growth and Unemployment Stats – Countries with Own Currency

Readers Question I was wondering if you have any graphs plotting UK GDP and Unemployment against other economies which have monetary independence and their own currency. I often see graphs comparing the US with the UK. Are there any which include Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and other countries?


click to enlarge

Economic growth rates for selected countries.

  • Australia has weathered the global recession well. Helped by strength of its commodity export market.
  • Sweden experienced one of the deepest recession (-5.0% in 2009), but also one of the quickest recoveries with very strong growth since 2010.
  • The Eurozone went back into recession in 2012, and the growth forecasts for 2013 may prove over-optimistic.

Read moreEcon Growth and Unemployment Stats – Countries with Own Currency

Item added to cart.
0 items - £0.00