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Top eight states with greatest annual health spending per person


Study examines per capita spending trends up to 2019.

It’s no surprise to say health care spending is rising around the United States.

But costs and spending aren’t the same everywhere. A study this year found the 50 states have a range of per capita spending and rates of increase, and the state with the highest per person spending had an amount double that of the state with the lowest.

“Varied Health Spending Growth Across US States Was Associated With Incomes, Price Levels, and Medicaid Expansion, 2000-19,” was published in August in Health Affairs. The study updated the 2014 estimates of health spending per person across the 50 states and Washington, D.C., up to the year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are the eight states where annual per person spending is greatest, in 2020 U.S. dollars, and starting at least $12,000. The research included the states’ annualized rate of change per person from 2013 to 2019.

The slides show two other figures: Standardized annual spending per person, and standardized annualized rate of change per person. Those figures are adjusted to reflect age and sex profile, economywide prices, mean income, population density, smoking rates, and physical activity rates.

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Jennifer N. Lee, MD, FAAFP
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
© National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health