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CA — Hot Topic: World Income Inequality

October 3, 2011 Comments off

Hot Topic: World Income Inequality
Source: Conference Board of Canada

Key Messages

  • Of total world income, 42 per cent goes to those who make up the richest 10 per cent of the world’s population, while just 1 per cent goes to those who make up the poorest 10 per cent.
  • Income inequality among countries in the world rose sharply between the 1980s and the mid-1990s, before levelling off and then falling after 2000.
  • Countries with very high inequality are clustered in South America and southern Africa. Countries with low inequality are mostly in Europe. Canada and the U.S. have medium income inequality.
  • The increase in income inequality has been more rapid in Canada than in the U.S. since the mid-1990s.
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Canada — Health Spending: Other Countries Get Better Results For Less

May 13, 2011 Comments off

Health Spending: Other Countries Get Better Results For Less
Source: Conference Board of Canada

Canada’s health spending per capita is the fourth-highest of 17 countries assessed in The Conference Board of Canada’s How Canada Performs: Health Spending rankings. But Canada ranks just 10th in overall health performance. Several countries spend less than Canada yet have healthier populations overall.

In 2008, 10 per cent of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) went to health spending – the equivalent of US$4,079 per person. On key indicators of population health, however, Canada falls in the middle of the pack at best. For example, it ranks seventh on life expectancy, and fares much worse on infant mortality, with the second highest infant mortality rate among its peers. Despite similar levels of income per capita, Canada’s life expectancy is lower than that of Australia, while the infant mortality rate is higher in Canada.

While Canada is an outlier in terms of the relationship between per-capita expenditures and population health, it is not one of the most extreme cases – these occur at the opposite ends of the health spending spectrum.

Japan, the country with the lowest health expenditures (US$2,729), has excellent health outcomes – the Japanese have both the highest life expectancy and the second-lowest infant mortality rate among the peer countries assessed.

The United States is by far the biggest health spender, at over US$7,500 per person in 2008. However, the U.S. has the worse results by far of any peer country, ranking last overall on population health. The U.S. records the lowest life expectancy and ranks last on another key health indicator, infant mortality.

+ How Canada Performs: Health Spending rankings

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