(22 November 2019) – Social protection expenditure in the EU stood at 27.9% of GDP in 2017, slightly down compared with 28.7% in 2012. Highest ratios were found in France, Denmark and Finland.
The EU average continued to mask major disparities between Member States. In 2017, social protection expenditure represented over 30% of GDP in France (34%), Denmark (32%) and Finland (31%). They were followed by Germany (close to 30%), Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Belgium and Sweden (all 29%).
In contrast, social protection expenditure stood below 20% of GDP in Romania (14%), Latvia, Ireland and Lithuania (all 15%), Estonia and Malta (both 16%), Bulgaria (17%), Slovakia and Hungary (both 18%), Cyprus and Czechia (both 19%).
Social protection expenditure per capita in PPS (Purchasing Power Standards) showed the highest expenditure per capita in Denmark (almost 12 thousand PPS), Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and France (all around 11 thousand PPS). In contrast, the lowest expenditure per capita were registered in Bulgaria, Romania and Latvia (3 thousand PPS or less).