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Government expenditure on social protection accounted for almost 1/5 of GDP

Mar 22, 2016 | News

(22 March 2016) – Eurostat has published a detailed breakdown of general government expenditure in the EU for 2014. The function ‘social protection’ (19.5% of GDP) was by far the most important, accounting for at least 20% of GDP in Finland, France, Denmark, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Greece and Slovakia.

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© Alexandru-Dan Neagu

The next most important areas were ‘health’ (7.2%), ‘general public services’ such as external affairs and public debt transactions (6.7%), ‘education’ (4.9%) and ‘economic affairs’ (4.2%).

The functions ‘public order and safety’ (1.8%), ‘defence’ (1.3%), ‘recreation, culture and religion’ (1.0%), ‘environmental protection’ (0.8%) and ‘housing and community amenities’ (0.7%) had more limited weights.

These data at EU level mask however significant differences between the Member States in the share of GDP devoted to each function of general government expenditure.

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