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Taxation in the EU: the tax-to-GDP ratio varies by 1 to 2

Nov 25, 2016 | News

(25 November 2016) – The overall tax-to-GDP ratio, meaning the sum of taxes and net social contributions as a percentage of GDP, stood at 40.0% in the European Union (EU) in 2015, stable compared with 2014.

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© Chris Potter

The tax-to-GDP ratio varies significantly between Member States, with the highest share of taxes and social contributions in percentage of GDP in 2015 being recorded in France (47.9%) Denmark (47.6%) as well as Belgium (47.5%), followed by Austria (44.4%), Sweden (44.2%), Finland (44.1%) and Italy (43.5%).

At the opposite end of the scale, Ireland (24.4%), Romania (28.0%), Bulgaria (29.0%), Lithuania (29.4%) and Latvia (29.5%) registered the lowest ratios.

In 2015, taxes on production and imports made up the largest part of tax revenue in the EU (accounting for 13.6% of GDP), closely followed by net social contributions (13.2%) and taxes on income and wealth (13.0%).

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