Life expectancy in the United States compared to major EU countries

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European Union countries spend less on health care, but residents live longer than Americans.

A strong commitment to community-based primary care would help Americans live longer and better lives, according to a new report.

This recommendation is part of ways to improve life expectancy in the United States, which lags behind other countries, despite the country spending the most money on health care of all countries. of the world. New Commonwealth Fund Report clearly states the problem in its headline: “Americans in No Matter What State They Live in Are Dying Younger Than People in Many Other Countries.”

The researchers compared the 50 states, the District of Columbia and other developed countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). They compared two measures: average life expectancy and higher preventable mortality, or deaths that could have been prevented with proper health care.

“We find that regardless of where they live, Americans are more likely to die earlier than people in many other countries,” the report said. “And they are more likely to die from factors that could have been avoided with the right care given at the right time.”

The average life expectancy for a newborn in the United States was 78.8 years. At least 16 other European Union (EU) countries and 12 other non-EU countries have longer life expectancies.

The numbers are “disappointing, but not surprising,” the report says. Along with the commitment to primary care, the researchers noted that other countries provide health care with benefits for their citizens:

  • Universal insurance coverage with minimal cost barriers.
  • Few administrative burdens that could hinder access to care.
  • Well-resourced social services that can support healthier populations and reduce stress on the care delivery system.

Figures represent rates from 2016 to 2019 and do not take into account the COVID-19 pandemic which has reduced life expectancies in the United States and other countries.

Here are the 17 OECD countries in the European Union that have longer life expectancies at birth than the United States.

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