Sweden scrapes into global health top ten

Sweden has the world's tenth most efficient health care, according to a new study. While trailing several European neighbours, the average Swede can still expect to outlive an American by three years.

Sweden scrapes into global health top ten

The study looked at countries with at least five million inhabitants, a GDP per capita that surpassed $5,000 and a life expectancy of at least 70 years.

Hong Kong and Singapore came out top of the list, which was compiled by Bloomberg Visual Data. The ranking took into account three factors – average life expectancy, the cost of health care overall measured against GDP per capita, and the cost per capita, which all tallied up to an efficiency score.

“Absolute cost is total health expenditure, which covers preventive and curative health services, family planning, nutrition activities and emergency aid,” Bloomberg explained about its methodology.

Among European nations, Spain came highest – in fifth place.

The full top-ten:

Hong Kong






South Korea




The data for the study was gathered from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Health Organization, and the Hong Kong Department of Health. The findings were published this month.

Swedes can expect to live to the age of 81.8 years – compared to Hong Kong’s 92.6. A Swede can thus expect to live more than three years longer than the average American. The United States, in 46th place on the list, has an average life expectancy of 78.6.

When spread out over the population, some $5,300 is spent on each Swede a year. In Hong Kong, that figure is $1,400, while the Americans end up on an average of $8,600 per person per year.

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