Health at a Glance 2021

OECD Indicators

image of Health at a Glance 2021

Health at a Glance provides a comprehensive set of indicators on population health and health system performance across OECD members and key emerging economies. These cover health status, risk factors for health, access to and quality of health care, and health resources. Analysis draws from the latest comparable official national statistics and other sources.

Alongside indicator-by-indicator analysis, an overview chapter summarises the comparative performance of countries and major trends. This edition also has a special focus on the health impact of COVID-19 in OECD countries, including deaths and illness caused by the virus, adverse effects on access and quality of care, and the growing burden of mental ill-health.

English Also available in: French

The health impact of COVID‑19

The health impact of COVID‑19 has been devastating. By mid-October 2021, 240 million people had contracted the virus with nearly 4.9 million dying from it. Moreover, millions of survivors suffer from long-lasting symptoms that prevent a return to normal life. Mental distress has increased substantially. There has also been a clear social gradient to the risk of infection and death from the virus. Furthermore, COVID‑19 has disrupted health care for people with other needs. For example, cancer screening was frequently delayed, non-urgent surgeries postponed, emergency department use dropped, and waiting times for elective surgeries increased. Nevertheless, vaccinations have been a game changer in 2021, reducing the risk of severe illness and death. However, vaccination hesitancy among some population groups and waning vaccine effectiveness are an ongoing challenge.

English Also available in: French

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