& Events

How much do Member States spend on education?

Sep 1, 2017 | News

(31 August 2017) – In 2015, over €716 billion of general government expenditure was spent by EU Member States on education. This figure is equivalent to almost 5% (4.9%) of the EU’s GDP.

© Wikimedia Commons

‘Education’ is the fourth largest item of public expenditure, after ‘social protection’ (19.2%), ‘health’.

In 2015, the ratio to GDP of government expenditure for education varied by more than one to two across the EU Member States. Overall, 18 of the 28 Member States recorded a ratio of 5% or more.

At the lower end was Romania (3.1%), followed by Ireland (3.7%), Bulgaria and Italy (both 4.0%), Spain (4.1%), Germany and Slovakia (both 4.2%) as well as Greece (4.3%).

In contrast, Denmark (7.0%) spent the most in relative terms, ahead of Sweden (6.5%), Belgium (6.4%), Finland (6.2%), Estonia (6.1%), Latvia and Portugal (both 6.0%).

More information