U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health

Americans live shorter lives and experience more injuries and illnesses than people in other high-income countries. The U.S. health disadvantage cannot be attributed solely to the adverse health status of racial or ethnic minorities or poor people: even highly advantaged Americans are in worse health than their counterparts in other, "peer" countries.


A recent report from the National Academy Press, U.S. Health in International Perspective presents detailed evidence on the issue, explores the possible explanations for the shorter and less healthy lives of Americans than those of people in comparable countries, and recommends actions by both government and nongovernment agencies and organizations to address the U.S. health disadvantage.

An interactive graph is located at nationalacademies.org/IntlMortalityRates. Drawn from the report U.S. Health in International Perspectives: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health, this chart allows you to explore how the United States compares to 16 "peer" countries–other high–income democracies–on specific causes of death such as heart disease, HIV/AIDS, violence, and traffic accidents.