How America Compares offers data and analysis on an encyclopedic range of social indicators, comparing the United States with 17 other politically stable, economically affluent democracies. Occasionally, there are more global perspectives, but most of the book examines commonalities and contrasts among these advanced democracies. Life expectancy increased enormously in these countries over the last century, and the causes of mortality have also changed substantially. In recent decades, great success has been achieved in reducing the death toll from heart attacks, and, although at a much lesser level, cancer. Health expenditure has also increased substantially, and its effectiveness is now a major concern of all governments, as each area of spending especially hospitals and drugs are examined. The chapter also looks at health care personnel, and at non-medical determinants of health.