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newsGeneral government expenditure in the EU in 2015 - Government expenditure on social protection accounted for almost one fifth of GDP - Representing about 40% of total public expenditure

Brussels, 6 March 2017

Among the main functions of general government expenditure in the European Union (EU), ‘social protection' was by far the most important in 2015, equivalent to 19.2% of GDP. The next most important areas were ‘health' (7.2%), ‘general public services' such as external affairs and public debt transactions (6.2%), ‘education' (4.9%) and ‘economic affairs' (4.3%). The functions ‘public order and safety' (1.8%), ‘defence' (1.4%), ‘recreation, culture and religion' (1.0%), ‘environmental protection' (0.8%) and ‘housing and community amenities' (0.6%) had more limited weights. These data at EU level mask however significant differences between the Member States in the share of GDP devoted to each function of general government expenditure.

Details of what each government spent its money on, including what the UK government spent its money on in 2015 in terms of social protection is available in the link below.

Full text available on EUROSTAT website