China’s Spending Rate on Medical Care Outpaces Education: Chart

Chinese President Xi Jinping told members of the Communist Party’s standing committee that a "prosperous society cannot be achieved without the people’s all-around health." While Xi emphasized the value of lifestyle choices, his speech reflects costs in an aging nation where changing diets and more sedentary lifestyles have led to a surge in conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The proportion the government spent on medical treatment and health services compared with total fiscal expenditures widened by 47 percent since 2010 -- to 7.8 percent of the budget through July -- about 10 times the marginal rise for education in the period, while the ratios allocated to transportation and general public services narrowed.

— With assistance by Lee Miller

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