Latvia still ranks low for social expenditure and benefits

Social protection benefits expenditure as a percentage of GDP has increased in all EU Member States comparing 2020 with 2019 according to early estimates on social protection expenditure, published recently by Eurostat. They are the main headline indicators for the European System of integrated Social Protection Statistics (ESSPROS) and are being provided by the reporting countries on a voluntary basis. 

However, despite an increase of 10% in expenditure on 2019, Latvia still ranks low compared to its EU peers among countries that provided data.

Social protection, 2020

Among the Member States for which 2020 estimates are available, social protection benefits expenditure as a percentage of GDP was highest in France (36% of GDP), Austria (34%) and Italy (33%), while it was lowest in Ireland (15%), as well as Latvia, Hungary and Lithuania (all 18%).  

In fact, the percentage change in social protection expenditure between 2019 and 2020 (in national currency), confirms the increase in all Member States for which 2020 estimates are available.

The largest increases were recorded in Malta (+28% compared with 2019), Ireland (+21%) and Cyprus (+18%). The smallest increases were recorded in Sweden (+4%), Croatia and Denmark (both +5%).


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