Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Does your state spend more or less than average on health care? Leaders in per-resident outlays tend to be rural

Graphics by Self from Census Bureau survey of governments
State and local governments are spending an increasing share of the money on health care, and the numbers were rising even before the pandemic. In 2019, the overall share was 9.6 percent. Since then, the federal government has poured billions extra into health care due to the pandemic, so that will skew the data for 2020 and 2021 when they are compiled by the Bureau of the Census.

Rural states dominate the top five states in state and local health-care spending. The leader is Wyoming, at 19.7% of total spending, and it's by far the leader in spending per resident, $2,978. South Carolina is second, at 19.3% and $1,730. North Carolina is third in health care's share of total spending, 17.9%, and fifth in per-resident spending, at $1,536.

Kansas is third in per-resident spending, at $1,558, and sixth in share of total spending, at 16.1%. Mississippi is fourth in per-resident spending, at $1,547, and also fourth in share of total spending, at 17.3%. Alabama is ninth in per-resident spending, at $1,474, but fifth in share of total spending, 16.8%. For a report with a full table of the states, go here.

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