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Social protection expenditure in Latvia increased by 7.6% last year

Provisional data of the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB) published November 24 show that in 2019 Latvian social protection expenditure accounted for almost 5 billion or EUR 4 775.6 million.

It has grown by EUR 335.4 million or 7.6 %, compared to 2018. Expenditure on sickness and heath care grew by 15.0 %, on survivors' support by 12.0 %, on old-age pensions and on material support for old age by 5.5 %.

Social protection expenditure in Latvia
(million euros annually)

 

2017

2018

2019

(provisional data)

Changes in 2019, compared to 2018 (%)

million EUR

%

Total expenditure on social protection

3 980.7

4 440.2

4 775.6

100.0

7.6

sickness/health care

996.4

1 198.1

1 378.0

28.9

15.0

disability

354.9

380.9

400.7

8.4

5.2

old-age

1 868.3

2 026.6

2 138.7

44.8

5.5

survivors

49.4

54.2

60.7

1.3

12.0

family/ children

430.6

474.7

491.3

10.3

3.5

unemployment

176.2

193.3

193.7

4.1

0.2

housing

18.7

17.1

16.3

0.3

-4.9

social exclusion

27.7

29.6

30.1

0.6

1.6

administrative costs (estimated)

57.4

64.6

64.9

1.4

0.6

other expenditure

1.1

1.1

1.3

0

9.7

The largest expenditure growth in 2019 was recorded in sickness/health care function. Compared to 2018, the share of health care expenditure has increased by 1.9 %, reaching 28.9 % of total expenditures on social protection. Expenditure on sickness benefit increased by 21.3 % (EUR 200.3 million) last year, which was facilitated by an increase in the average amount of sickness benefit payable. Expenditure on inpatient health care last year was EUR 428.4 million, which is 18 % more than in 2018.

The second largest increase in expenditure (12 %) was for survivors' support. Last year, these expenses amounted to EUR 60.7 million, including EUR 6.1 million for the new benefit in the event of the death of the pensioner for the deceased pensioner's spouse introduced on 1 January 2019.

Compared to 2018, last year there was a 4.9 % decrease in expenditure on social assistance related to housing, which is related to a decrease in expenditure on municipal housing benefit. Data from the Ministry of Welfare show that the number of recipients of municipal housing benefit decreased from 20.4 thousand persons in December 2018 to 19 thousand persons in December 2019.

In 2019, social protection expenditure accounted for 15.7 % of gross domestic product (GDP), which is 0.5 percentage points more than in 2018 (15.2 %). By comparison, in 2018, social protection expenditure in Estonia was 16.4 % of GDP, in Lithuania - 15.8 % of GDP, while in the European Union - on average 27.9 % of GDP.

The data on the Latvian social protection expenditure are compiled since 2004 based on the European system of integrated social protection statistics (ESSPROS) methodology. The methodology is aimed at compiling internationally comparable information on expenditure on social protection allocated to state and local government budgets to meet the social protection needs of residents.

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