Public health and Covid-19 in the United Kingdom

Healthcare in the United Kingdom

The effectiveness of the health care system in the United Kingdom is well above average in a global comparison.

Probably the most important indicator that can be used to summarize the efficiency of all measures is general life expectancy. In other words, the theoretical age that a newborn child could potentially reach today. At the moment, this age in the United Kingdom is 79.0 years for men and 82.4 years for women. For comparison: worldwide life expectancy is about 8.4 years lower (men: 69.8 / women: 74.9 years).

A total of 4,265.20 USD per inhabitant is spent annually on health measures at state expense. This corresponds to approximately 9.9 percent of the gross domestic product. Internationally, this amount averages 1,103.03 USD (~ 9.8% of the respective GDP).

Back to overview: United Kingdom

Spread of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom

Current incidence in the week ending 05/28/2023: 2.3 new infections per 100,000 population

Since the beginning of the pandemic until May 28th, 2023, a total of 24,611,066 infected people and 225,852 deaths have been reported in the United Kingdom.

The total of 24,611,066 infected people currently represents 36.25 percent of the total population. The number of new infections during the seven days preceding May 28th, 2023, was 1,529, for a 7-day incidence of 2.3 cases per 100,000 population. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, this results in a mortality rate of about 0.9 percent in the United Kingdom.

Current vaccination status

According to official WHO data, a total of 151.25 million vaccine doses have been administered as of September 11th, 2022. More recent data are not yet available to WHO. There are 53.81 million people who have received at least one vaccination (79.1 percent).

50.76 million of these are considered fully vaccinated in the United Kingdom (= 74.6 percent).
This means that the United Kingdom is still one of the better countries in terms of vaccination coverage. The vaccination rate is higher in 67 countries.

Weight and size

Body height178 cm164 cm
Weight86.7 kg72.7 kg


United KingdomØ worldwide
Diabetes *3.90%8.81%

* The number of people suffering from diabetes refers only to inhabitants aged between 20 and 79 years.

Child vaccinations

United KingdomØ worldwide
Hepatitis B0.09%0.08%
DTP *9.30%8.14%

* DTP is a combined basic vaccination against diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus, which should be given to children up to the age of 23 months.

In the United Kingdom, 15.4 percent of all over 15-year-olds are still smokers.

Medical supplies

Public health and Covid-19 in the United KingdomMedical care provided by doctors and hospitals in the United Kingdom is below average compared to the world population. The country provides 2.5 hospital beds per 1,000 inhabitants. The global mean here is 2.9 beds. Within the EU, 4.6 beds are available for every 1,000 residents.

With about 189,000 physicians in the United Kingdom, there are about 2.81 doctors per 1000 inhabitants. Here again the comparison: worldwide this standard is 1.50 physicians per 1,000 inhabitants and in the EU is 3.57.

Through medical care, the mortality of major known diseases can be reduced to an above-average extent. For example, only about 10 percent of all people who suffer from cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases or chylomicron retention disease (CRD) currently die.

Drinking water supply

As one of the few countries, the United Kingdom offers almost its entire population (99.82 percent) access to an immediately available, running drinking water connection. The percentage of population reached by additional supply from springs and wells or delivered drinking water is 100 percent. In a global comparison, only about 74 percent of the population has direct access to tested and always available drinking water. Within the European Union, this share is 98 percent. Only in a few countries does the proportion fall below 10 percent.


The above data correspond to the information from the World Health Organization, Global Health Workforce Statistics, UNICEF, State of the World's Children, Childinfo, Global Health Observatory Data Repository and OECD. The case numbers for the spread of the COVID-19 come from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Comparison: average ageAverage age by countryRising average age worldwide: since 1950 alone, more than 4 years. A list by country.
Comparison: Life expectancyAverage life expectancy by countryInternational ranking of life expectancy in 120 countries including summary by continents. Explanation of significant factors.
Comparison: quality of lifeQuality of life 2023 in country comparisonCompare the quality of life around the globe: In which countries is life pleasant, safe and healthy?