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en:Austrian health expenditures exhibit an age profile


  • Monika Riedel
  • Maria M. Hofmarcher


We compute an age profile for public expenditures on health by calculating separate spending profiles for inpatient care, physician services and pharmaceuticals for the year 2000. We further employ three demographic scenarios to project age-related expenditures between 2000 and 2050. The Austrian profile exhibits that expenditures rise noticeably with age. For instance, per capita expenses for the 85-89 age group are about five times as high as in the 35-39 one. This pattern is also found in other EU countries. At 2.9% of GDP, inpatient care accounts for more than half of the total Austrian public expenditures on health and thus the shape of age-related inpatient care expenditures dominates the age profile. As opposed to inpatient care, we find that the profile for physician services shows a roughly linear increase, indicating that expenditures here grow rather in proportion to increasing age. However, the age profile for expenses on medical drugs is even steeper than that for inpatient care, which corroborates observed growth patterns in pharmaceutical care and heightens the age profile for public expenditures. During the next decades the shift in the age structure will cause a shift of expenditure shares. The share of public expenditures on health spent on the 80+ population group will have more than doubled by 2050. At 4.9% of GDP in 2000, public expenditures on health are predicted to increase until 2050 to 6.4% in the central population scenario, to 6.0% in the high population scenario and to 6.7% in the high life expectancy scenario.

Suggested Citation

  • Monika Riedel & Maria M. Hofmarcher, 2003. "en:Austrian health expenditures exhibit an age profile," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 1(1), pages 197-213.
  • Handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:1:y:2003:i:1:p:197-213

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