(12 December 2018) – Social protection expenditure in the EU stood at 28.2% of GDP in 2016, slightly down compared with 28.4% in 2015. Highest ratios were found in France, Finland and Denmark.
In 2016, the two main sources of funding of social protection at EU level were social contributions, making up 55% of total receipts, and general government contributions from taxes at 40%.
The EU average continued to mask major disparities between Member States. In 2016, social protection expenditure represented at least 30% of GDP in France (34%), Finland and Denmark (both 32%) as well as in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands (all 30%).
In contrast, social protection expenditure stood below 20% of GDP in Romania, Latvia and Lithuania (all 15%), Ireland (16%), Estonia and Malta (both 17%), Bulgaria and Slovakia (both 18%) as well as Czechia, Cyprus and Hungary (all 19%).