Health policies and data

Long-term Care


The OECD Health Division has an ongoing programme of work to support countries in developing long-term care systems that can meet the needs of their populations now and in the future.  

Key issues in long-term care policy

As people get older, it becomes more likely that they will need day-to-day help with activities such as washing and dressing, or help with household activities such as cleaning and cooking. This type of support (along with some types of medical care) is what is called long-term care.

Demand for long-term care is expected to rise, thanks in part to ageing populations and increasing prevalence of long-term conditions such as dementia.

A significant share of the spending on LTC services is covered by government or compulsory insurance schemes. Total government/compulsory spending on LTC (including both the health and social care components) accounted for 1.7% of GDP on average across OECD countries in 2017. At 3.7% of GDP, the highest spender was the Netherlands, followed by Norway (3.3%) and Sweden (3.2%). In these countries, public expenditure on LTC was around double the OECD average. At the other end of the scale, Hungary, Estonia, Poland, and Latvia all allocated less than 0.5% of their GDP to the delivery of LTC services.

Long-term care expenditure (health and social components) by government and compulsory insurance schemes, as a share of GDP, 2017 (or nearest year) 


Note: The OECD average only includes 17 countries that report health and social LTC. Access the data behind the graph.
Source: OECD Health Statistics 2020.




Data on long-term care

Access our latest data from OECD Health Statistics in the dataset Long-term resources and utilisation:

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