The concentration of health expenditures: An update

M. L. Berk, Alan Monheit

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


An earlier study tracing trends in health spending from 1928 to 1980 found health expenditures concentrated among the top 1 percent of those spending money for health care. In an update to that study, the authors found that that trend toward concentration has increased. In 1987 the top 1 percent of spenders accounted for 30 percent of health spending, up from 26 percent in 1970 and 29 per cent in 1980. In contrast,the bottom half of the population in terms of spending accounted for only 3 per cent of total spending in 1987. The average expenditure for the top 1 per cent of spenders in 1987 was $47,331. Nearly half of those top spenders in 1987 were elderly. Also, more than 16 percent were black, up from nearly 10 percent in 1980.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-149
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Affairs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy
  • Nursing(all)
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions(all)

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