Compared with other developed and many developing nations, the United States continues to rank at or near the bottom in indicators of mortality and life expectancy while continuing to exceed other countries in health spending [1].
Thirty-five countries, including the United States, comprise the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Their mission is to promote economic development and social well-being of people worldwide.
Among the 35 OECD countries, US infant mortality ranks 29th.
The United States ranks 29th in infant mortality among the 35 OECD countries—only six countries have higher rates. In 14 countries—including the Nordic countries of northern Europe, Japan, and Slovenia—the infant mortality rate is half the US rate (Figure 13).

Data Source: WHO. Infant mortality rate (probability of dying in the first year after birth per 1,000 live births) Mortality and global health estimates. 2015. http://apps.who.int/gho/data/view.main.182 Updated: September 11, 2015. Accessed: October 25, 2016

The United States ranks 26th of 35 OECD countries for life expectancy, with an average life expectancy of 79 years.
Life expectancy at birth is another measure used to compare the health of nations. The United States also performs relatively poorly in this measure, which is highly influenced by infant mortality. Overall, the United States ranks 26th among OECD countries with an average life expectancy of 79 years (Figure 14). Japan leads the world in life expectancy at 84 years. Almost all western European countries, Australia, Canada, Chile and Iceland also have a longer life expectancy than the United States. Twenty-five countries have an average life expectancy of at least 80 years, and 18 of those countries have a life expectancy at least three years longer than the US life expectancy.
All other OECD countries with health expenditures more than 10% of GDP have a lower infant mortality rate and a higher life expectancy than the United States.
Rankings for infant mortality and life expectancy continue to be disappointingly low in the United States, especially considering how much money is spent on health. Compared with other OECD countries, expenditure on health (measured by percentage of gross domestic product [GDP] spent on health by private and public sectors), is highest in the United States at 16.9% of GDP (Figure 15). Switzerland is the next highest in expenditures at 11.5%. Including Switzerland, only 10 other OECD countries spend more than 10% of GDP on health. All other developed countries with health expenditures more than 10% of GDP have a lower infant mortality rate and a higher life expectancy than the United States.
[1] OECD. Health spending (indicator). https://data.oecd.org/healthres/health-spending.htm. Accessed October 25, 2016.

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