Czech, Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia lag among EU countries in terms of social protection expenditures

EU

Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania and Latvia lag behind most other countries in the European Union in terms of social protection expenditures expressed as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP), data shows. 

According to latest Eurostat figures, five member states (Finland, France, Denmark, Italy and Austria) spent at least 20% of their GDP for social protection in 2018, while Ireland, Malta, Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic spent less than 12% of GDP for social protection.

In the case of Romania, the ratio was 11.6% in 2018, well below the average of 19.2% registered at the level of the EU.

The “expenditures for elderly” category of social protection expenditures, which includes pensions, accounted for 10.4% of GDP at EU level in 2018.

In all member states, this category represents the most important part of social protection spending but the weight varies between 13.6% of GDP in Finland and 3.2% of GDP in Ireland, Eurostat says.

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