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Social spending in Spain is below the European average

Spain invests the equivalent of 24.7% of its GDP to social protection against 29% of the European average

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Social spending in Spain is below the European average

Spending on social protection in countries of European Union has grown very slightly since 2010. It has gone from representing 28.6% of GDP seven years ago to 29% in 2015, according to data disseminated this Friday by Eurostat. The European Statistical Office explains that most of income to finance social benefits came from social contributions, 54%, and remainder of tax collection of each country.

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  • The protection to unprotected falls to minimum in 15 years
  • Efficiency in social protection programmes

Statistics show great inequalities between countries. While France spends 34% of its GDP on pensions, unemployment, family benefits and children, social exclusion and dependence, Romania or Lithuania barely earmark 15% of GDP.

Spain, for its part, spends 24.7%, almost five points less than European average. All countries in our environment invest more in social protection. Even Portugal and Greece, which have gone through deep crises, devote a greater proportion of ir GDP to se social expenditures. Denmark, Belgium, Nerlands, Austria, Italy and Germany spend about a third of ir GDP.

Disparity between countries

The situation in Spain does not improve or compare expenditure on social protection per capita (measured in purchasing power parity, which eliminates difference in prices between countries). According to this indicator, Spain spends about 6,300 euros in purchasing power parity compared to 10,800 euros invested by France or 8,200 in Italy.

According to this criterion, Luxembourg was most spent on social protection (15,000 euros), followed by Norway and Denmark, which spend almost 12,000 euros.

"These disparities reflect differences in living standards, but y also show diversity of protection systems and demographic, economic, social and institutional structures of each state," says Eurostat.

The study also shows which are social items that countries pay more attention to. Pensions take almost half of social expenditure, 45.2%, according to EU average. It follows dependence, with 37.3% of expenditure. Investment in infancy amounts to 8.6% of total; Unemployment, 4.8% and housing and social exclusion European countries allocate 4.1%.

Spain also prioritizes social spending for elderly, 49.8%, ahead of health, medical care and disability, 34.5% of total; Unemployment (9%); Family and children (5.3%) and housing and social exclusion (1.4%).


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