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