(27 February 2020) – In 2018, total government expenditure in the European Union amounted to 46.7% of GDP. This share has steadily decreased since 2012, when it stood at 49.7% of GDP.
Social protection represented the most important area of general government expenditure in 2018 in all EU Member States.
The ratio of government social protection expenditure to GDP varied across EU Member States from less than 10% in Ireland (9.0%) to nearly a quarter in Finland (24.1%) and France (23.9%).
Five EU Member States – Finland, France, Denmark, Italy and Austria – devoted at least 20% of GDP to social protection, while Ireland, Malta, Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria and Czechia each spent 12% of GDP or less on social protection.
With shares of at least 8% of GDP in 2018, Denmark (8.3%), Austria (8.2%) and France (8.1%) recorded the highest ratios to GDP devoted to health among EU Member States.