Global Health Expenditure Database

SCI_cp_US The Global Health Expenditure Database (GHED) provides internationally comparable data on health spending for close to 190 countries from 2000 to 2018. The database is open access and supports the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by helping monitor the availability of resources for health and the extent to which they are used efficiently and equitably. This, in turn, helps ensure health services are available and affordable when people need them. In particular, the data published here contribute to a better understanding of:

  • How much do different countries spend on health?
  • How much do different actors such as government, insurance companies, households and donors contribute?
  • What are the financing arrangements to pay for health?
  • How much money is spent on primary health care (PHC)?
  • How much money is spent on different diseases and programmes such as immunization?
  • How much money is spent on the less than 5-year old population?

WHO works collaboratively with Member States and updates the database annually using available data such as health accounts studies and government expenditure records. Where necessary, modifications and estimates are made to ensure the comprehensiveness and consistency of the data across countries and years. GHED is the source of the health expenditure data republished by the World Bank and the WHO Global Health Observatory.

To mark Universal Health Coverage Day in December 2020, WHO has released new data and will soon publish the report “Global Spending on Health: Weathering the Storm”. It examines how countries were progressing towards financing UHC prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, global spending on health continued to rise, albeit at a slower rate in recent years. 2018 was the first year in five years in which global spending on health grew slower than GDP. The report also shows that out-of-pocket spending continues to be a major component of health spending in low- and middle-income countries. Furthermore, this report shows that external aid, which peaked in 2014, has been increasingly directed towards lower-middle income countries. In 2018, the amount of external aid absorbed by lower-middle income countries surpassed that of low-income countries.
The report examines the potential effects on health expenditure of the COVID-19 pandemic, given its devastating impact on health and economies across the globe. The report also features dedicated chapters on lower income countries and disease/programme expenditure. The former examines health spending patterns in a subset of countries which face important macroeconomic vulnerabilities, high levels of poverty, and are lagging behind in Universal Health Coverage (UHC) indicators. In these settings, out-of-pocket spending is larger than government spending and the governments’ priority to health has been decreasing over time. The disease/programme expenditure chapter studies spending on infectious disease, NCDs, reproductive health and immunization, as well as the revenue sources for each.

Alongside this new report and data, we are also pleased to announce the update of interactive visualisations of health spending for each country. In this section, you will be able to view, download and print individual country profiles.

In the documentation center, you will find the December 2020 country release note, as well as complementary technical notes, methodology guidelines, global, regional and country reports on health expenditure, and metadata documentation.

>> Explore the Data (


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