UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
According to the U.S. government’s National Health Care Expenditure fact sheet, in 2019, the U.S spent $3.8 trillion on health care services in 2019, which was $11,582 per person. Health care services accounted for 17.7% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).* The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a group of 11 wealthy, mostly western European countries plus Japan, New Zealand and Australia. The proportion of GDP spent by the U.S. on health care is nearly twice that of the average for OECD countries, yet had the lowest life expectancy among these countries.
The data presented in this portion of State of the Valley are drawn from state, national, and non-profit organizations and the most recent comparable data available do not always cover the same time period. Indeed, for one indicator, infant mortality, the most recent data available for the states (Minnesota and Wisconsin) are not the same as for the St. Croix River Valley counties.**
Counties in the St. Croix River Valley, with a couple of exceptions, tend to have somewhat better health care indicators than their respective states. These counties tend to have lower rates of infant mortality, a relatively high proportion of adults have health insurance, and very low percentages of those over 65 years of age reported difficulty providing self-care. Polk and Burnett Counties, however, have slightly worse health indicators than the Wisconsin state average. It is also the case that at least one-quarter of the adult population in these counties is obese, adults have an average of about half a week per month of mentally unhealthy days, and at least 10% of adults rated their physical health as fair or poor.