This is a map I created using ArcGIS (before my open source days - now I use QGIS and D3.js).
I had heard that the US was one of the largest spenders on healthcare yet it didn't have the best health outcomes. I wanted to find out what countries were spending less yet had healthier people.
Life expectancy is a common proxy that has been found to be strongly associated with the health outcomes of a population. So I set out to answer the question with data. And I wanted to present it in a visually intuitive way- here is my attempt.
I downloaded life expectancy and healthcare data from the UN and the World Bank. I merged the data and created a color-coded map.
The darkest green colors are the countries with the highest life expectancies. The darkest red colors are the countries with the lowest life expectancies. Overlaid over each country is the dollar amount that specific country spends per person per year on healthcare.
As expected, the US is the biggest spender, with a whopping $8,362 per person per year. You can immediately notice that all this money does not lead to the highest life expectancy - the US is not in the darkest green group.
Canada spends only $4,404 yet is in a higher life expectancy group. Cuba, if their numbers are to be believed, is in the same group as Canada, with an average life expectancy between 81 to 85 years, yet only spends $431 per person per year.
Most of the countries with the highest life expectancy, like Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, and Japan, spend less than half what the US does.
You can see in Africa that healthcare spending is indeed somewhat correlated with life expectancy - in countries like Lybia and Tunisia, which spend more, people live longer than in Sub-Saharan countries.
Overall, it looks like there is a correlation between healthcare spending and life expectancy. The more you spend, the higher your life expectancy. However, there seems to be a limit, and going past $4,000 or so per person per year does not help make people healthier- but it probably does help make pharmaceutical CEOs happier.
Click to see full screen - use the zoom buttons on the right once it opens to keep sharpness