Health Care Inflation in the United States (1948-2022)

The average price of health care in the United States increased 5.0% in the 12 months ended October 2022 after climbing 6.0% previously, according to the most recent inflation data released Nov. 10, 2022, by the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The cost of health care is a major component — one of eight major groups — in the BLS’s Consumer Price Index (CPI). Described in their monthly reports as the "medical care index," it is split in two sub-categories titled "medical care commodities" and "medical care services." As an example, in October they posted respective year-over-year gains of 3.1% and 5.4%. For more about the pair and background, read about how the BLS measures pricing changes in medical care.

This chart shows U.S. health care inflation on an annual basis over the last decade:

*For unfinished years, the latest inflation data (12-month based) is always displayed in the chart’s final column.

Table: Heath Care Inflation by Month and Year (1948-2022)

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1948 6.1 5.3 6.0 6.7 5.9 5.9 7.4 6.6 5.8 5.8 6.5 5.8
1949 5.7 5.7 5.0 3.5 3.5 3.5 2.1 2.8 2.8 2.1 1.4 1.4
1950 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.4 1.4 2.0 1.3 2.0 2.7 2.7 3.4
1951 3.3 3.3 4.7 4.7 5.3 5.3 4.6 5.3 4.6 4.6 5.2 5.8
1952 5.8 5.8 5.1 5.1 4.4 6.3 6.3 5.7 6.3 5.6 5.0 4.3
1953 3.7 3.7 3.0 3.6 4.2 3.0 3.0 3.6 3.6 3.6 4.1 3.5
1954 3.5 4.1 4.1 4.1 3.5 2.9 2.9 2.9 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.3
1955 2.3 2.3 2.3 1.7 2.2 2.2 2.2 1.7 2.2 2.8 2.8 3.3
1956 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.9 3.3 3.3 3.8 4.4 4.4 3.8 3.8 3.2
1957 3.8 3.2 4.3 3.7 4.3 4.8 4.2 4.2 3.7 4.2 4.2 4.7
1958 4.7 4.7 4.1 4.6 4.6 4.6 5.1 4.5 5.6 5.5 5.0 4.5
1959 4.5 5.0 4.9 4.4 4.4 4.4 3.9 4.3 3.8 3.3 3.8 3.8
1960 3.8 3.8 3.8 4.2 3.7 3.3 3.7 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.2
1961 3.2 3.2 2.7 2.7 3.2 3.2 3.1 3.1 3.1 3.1 2.7 3.1
1962 2.7 2.6 3.1 3.1 2.6 3.1 2.6 2.6 2.2 2.6 2.6 2.2
1963 2.6 2.6 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.1 2.5 2.5
1964 2.5 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 2.1 1.7 2.1 2.1 2.1 1.6 2.1
1965 1.6 2.0 2.5 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.8 2.4 2.4 2.4 2.8 2.8
1966 3.2 2.8 3.2 3.2 3.6 4.0 4.0 4.3 5.5 6.3 6.3 6.7
1967 7.0 7.4 7.4 7.3 7.7 7.3 7.2 7.2 6.7 6.3 6.7 6.3
1968 6.2 6.2 6.1 6.5 5.7 5.7 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.3 5.9 6.2
1969 6.2 6.8 6.8 6.8 7.4 7.7 7.4 7.7 7.6 6.3 6.2 6.2
1970 5.8 5.8 6.1 6.0 6.0 5.9 6.5 6.2 6.2 7.1 7.1 7.4
1971 7.6 7.3 7.2 7.2 7.1 6.8 6.4 6.7 6.4 5.5 5.2 4.6
1972 4.3 4.2 3.6 3.3 3.0 3.0 2.7 2.2 2.2 3.3 3.6 3.3
1973 3.5 3.3 3.2 3.2 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.7 5.0 5.0 5.3
1974 5.3 6.0 6.8 7.0 7.5 9.1 10.1 11.9 12.3 11.1 11.6 12.6
1975 13.3 13.6 13.5 13.9 13.5 12.4 12.2 11.1 11.0 10.9 10.2 9.8
1976 9.7 9.6 9.7 9.4 9.4 9.3 9.2 9.4 9.1 9.0 10.5 10.0
1977 9.9 9.5 9.4 9.8 9.7 9.9 9.8 9.7 9.8 9.6 8.7 8.9
1978 9.0 9.1 8.6 8.2 8.3 7.9 7.9 8.0 7.9 8.6 9.0 8.8
1979 9.2 9.0 9.1 9.1 8.8 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.3 9.2 10.1
1980 10.0 10.8 11.2 11.5 11.6 11.4 11.3 11.0 11.1 11.0 10.7 9.9
1981 10.1 9.6 9.4 9.5 9.7 10.2 10.8 11.5 11.4 11.7 12.3 12.5
1982 12.1 11.8 12.0 12.1 12.0 11.9 11.7 11.3 11.4 11.2 10.9 11.0
1983 11.0 11.1 10.5 9.8 9.3 8.9 8.4 8.1 7.5 7.1 6.6 6.4
1984 6.2 6.3 6.3 6.3 6.4 6.3 6.4 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.2 6.1
1985 5.9 5.5 5.9 6.0 6.0 6.3 6.2 6.5 6.6 6.5 6.6 6.8
1986 6.9 7.2 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.7 7.6 7.7 7.7 7.7 7.7
1987 7.6 7.1 6.8 6.8 6.8 6.8 6.8 6.5 6.4 6.3 6.1 5.8
1988 6.2 6.4 6.4 6.4 6.4 6.4 6.6 6.6 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9
1989 7.0 7.2 7.2 7.2 7.3 7.5 7.5 7.7 8.0 8.1 8.5 8.5
1990 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.9 9.0 9.0 9.2 9.5 9.3 9.4 9.4 9.6
1991 9.7 9.5 9.5 9.1 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.4 8.4 8.1 8.0 7.9
1992 7.8 7.9 7.8 7.9 7.7 7.5 7.4 7.0 7.0 7.0 6.9 6.6
1993 6.6 6.3 6.0 6.0 6.3 6.2 6.0 6.0 5.7 5.7 5.5 5.4
1994 5.1 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.8 4.9
1995 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.6 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.4 4.4 4.2 4.1 3.9
1996 4.0 3.8 3.8 3.7 3.7 3.6 3.6 3.4 3.3 3.2 3.1 3.0
1997 2.9 2.9 3.0 3.0 3.0 2.9 2.7 2.6 2.6 2.5 2.6 2.8
1998 2.7 2.8 2.7 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.6 3.5 3.4
1999 3.6 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.5 3.7
2000 3.6 3.8 3.9 3.9 4.0 4.1 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.2
2001 4.5 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.6 4.8 4.7
2002 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.5 4.9 4.7 4.6 4.8 5.0 5.0
2003 4.6 4.5 4.3 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.8 3.9 4.0 3.7 3.5 3.7
2004 3.8 4.2 4.5 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.2
2005 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.2 4.2 3.9 3.9 4.1 4.5 4.3
2006 4.0 4.0 4.1 4.1 4.2 4.1 4.0 4.3 4.2 4.0 3.7 3.6
2007 4.3 4.3 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.8 5.0 5.2
2008 4.9 4.5 4.6 4.3 4.1 4.0 3.5 3.3 3.2 2.8 2.7 2.6
2009 2.6 2.8 2.8 3.0 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.3 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.4
2010 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.6 3.4 3.5 3.2 3.2 3.4 3.4 3.2 3.3
2011 2.9 2.9 2.7 2.9 3.0 2.9 3.2 3.2 2.8 3.1 3.4 3.5
2012 3.6 3.4 3.5 3.4 3.6 4.0 4.1 4.1 4.1 3.7 3.4 3.2
2013 3.1 3.1 3.1 2.7 2.2 2.1 1.9 2.3 2.4 2.3 2.2 2.0
2014 2.1 2.3 2.2 2.4 2.8 2.6 2.6 2.1 2.0 2.1 2.5 3.0
2015 2.6 2.3 2.5 2.9 2.8 2.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 3.0 2.9 2.6
2016 3.0 3.5 3.3 3.0 3.1 3.5 3.9 4.9 4.9 4.3 4.0 4.1
2017 3.9 3.5 3.5 3.0 2.7 2.7 2.6 1.8 1.6 1.7 1.7 1.8
2018 2.0 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.5 1.9 1.5 1.7 1.7 2.0 2.0
2019 1.9 1.7 1.7 1.9 2.1 2.0 2.6 3.5 3.5 4.3 4.2 4.6
2020 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 5.1 5.0 4.5 4.2 2.9 2.4 1.8
2021 1.9 2.0 1.8 1.5 0.9 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.4 1.3 1.7 2.2
2022 2.5 2.4 2.9 3.2 3.7 4.5 4.8 5.4 6.0 5.0 Avail.
Dec.
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