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How much is spent on culture and recreation in the EU?

Aug 8, 2017 | News

(07 August 2017) – In 2015, the EU 28 Member States reported nearly €153 billion of government expenditure on ‘recreation, culture and religion’. This figure is equivalent to 1.0% of the EU’s GDP.

© Leonhard Konitsch

In comparison, this is much lower than the amount spent on other main functions such as ‘social protection’ (expenditure equivalent to 19.2% of GDP in 2015), ‘health’ (7.2%), ‘education’ (4.9%) or even ‘defence’ (1.4%).

However, it is higher than public expenditure on ‘environmental protection’ (0.8%) and ‘housing and community amenities’ (0.6%).

In 2015, the ratio to GDP of government expenditure for ‘recreation, culture and religion’ varied across EU Member States. Ireland (0.6%), Greece, Italy and the United Kingdom (all three 0.7%) spent the least in relative terms, while Hungary (2.1%) and Estonia (2.0%) spent the most. 21 of the 28 Member States recorded a ratio of 1.0% or more.

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