Medical care spending climbs again in 1997
March 16, 1999
Consumer units spent $34,819 on average in 1997, an increase of 3 percent over the previous year. Spending on health care averaged $1,841, an increase of 4 percent. Health care expenditures had risen 2 percent in 1996, after decreasing the previous two years.
Health insurance, the largest component of health care expenditures, rose 6.6 percent in 1997, following a decrease of 4 percent in 1996. Expenditures on prescription and nonprescription drugs rose by 6 percent, while spending on medical supplies rose 11 percent. Consumer units increased their expenditures on medical services 2 percent.
In 1997, younger consumer units (reference persons under 25 years of age) spent 10 percent more on health care than a year earlier, largely due to increased spending on health insurance. In contrast, older consumer units (reference person age 75 and over) spent about 4 percent less on health care. However, older consumers still spent a much larger portion of their total income on health care than younger consumers (14 to 2 percent).
These data are a product of the BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey. Additional information is available from "Consumer Expenditures in 1997", Report 927. Expenditures data on health care track consumers' out-of-pocket expenses.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Medical care spending climbs again in 1997 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/mar/wk3/art02.htm (visited May 25, 2016).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.
- A look at pay at the top, the bottom, and in between
The Spotlight examines how earnings and wages have changed over time and how they differ within a geographic area, industry, or occupation.