New OECD Report: Health at a Glance 2017

November 14, 2017

The new OECD Health at a Glance 2017 report provides international comparisons of health status, risk factors to health, health expenditure, access to care and quality of care.

The 2017 edition includes a special chapter on the factors driving gains in life expectancy, as well as a set of dashboard indicators summarizing the comparative performance of OECD countries on different dimensions of population health status and health system performance.

Healthier lifestyles, higher incomes and better education have all contributed to boosting life expectancy in recent decades. Better health care has also helped, according to the new OECD report.

All OECD countries have seen life expectancy at birth increase by over 10 years since 1970 to reach an average of 80.6 years. Life expectancy at birth is highest in Japan (83.9 years), and Spain and Switzerland (83 years each), and lowest in Latvia (74.6) and Mexico (75).

A 10% increase in health spending per capita in real terms would, on average, boost life expectancy by 3.5 months. However, it is not just spending, but how resources are used, that makes the difference in life expectancy.