At the ASSA/AEA meetings my wife and I picked up the latest UNDP Human Development Report 2007/08. The numbers are really for 2005, but interesting nevertheless. So, the US was then second in real per capita income (has since slipped behind Norway to third), and was first in per capita spending on health, at over $6,000 per person. Only three other countries over $4,000, with highest income Luxembourg a bit over $5,000, and Norway and Switzerland each barely over $4,000. However, more striking is that the US is top in the world in percent of GDP spent on health care (from both public and private sources), at 15.4%. Second is "Occupied Palestinian Territories" at 13.0%, followed by Malawi at 12.9%. There are several other poor countries above 10%, with only two high income ones so, Germany at 10.6% and France at 10.5%.
You all know where this is going. So, US life expectancy, 77.9 years, is now tied for 29th in the world, with places like Costa Rica doing better. Last time I saw these figures, the US was tied for 17th, not so hot, but a lot better than 29th. The US is tied for for 30th on infant mortality at 6 per thousand and tied for 34th on maternal mortality at 11 per thousand. I think that is plenty for this post.