While the United States spends mor per capita on healthcare than other countries, there are wide state and regional variations in expenditures. Massachusetts, the highest-spending state at $4,810 per capita, spends 76% more per person than the lowest-spending state, Utah, at $2,731.
In general, Northeastern states spend more on healthcare than their counterparts farther west--and spending grew much more rapidly in the high-spending regions throughout the 1990s.
These different spending patterns relate to several broad factors. Age of population, for example, is a strong factor, as older Americans require more healthcare services and spending.
Market factors also will impact spending. For example, the supply of healthcare providers--both physicians and facilities--often creates a demand-pull, which increases spending.
Click here to download a PDF file of the By the Numbers chart for September 2002.