Friday, January 22, 2010

Alternate View: Health Care Cost, Life Expectancy

From 538:

Andrew Gelman at says:
A somewhat misleading (in my opinion) presentation of these numbers has been floating around on the web recently, and so I wanted to post this cleaner graph. (The area of the circle for each country is proportional to the number of doctor visits per person; I don't know that this information is so crucial but I included it, as it was on the original graph that I've modified.)

I don't agree that the original image is "misleading", but I do agree that this one is cleaner and shows the relationships nicely. See that circle way out on the right, in the expensive section? That's the US. I tend to think that swapping the axes on this graph would make the point better, though.

I also note that there's a clear positive correlation (if you exclude the US) between health care spending per capita and life expectancy. Might be worth pulling the numbers off one of the images and re-plotting it....