How much did governments spend on health in 2020? - Products Eurostat News

null How much did governments spend on health in 2020?

11/03/2022

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In 2020, ‘health’ remained the second-largest function of general government expenditure in the EU, following ‘social protection’. Government expenditure on ‘health’ increased by 1 percentage point (pp) compared with 2019 (8.0% of GDP in 2020 compared with 7.0% of GDP in 2019).

The increase is due to both a decrease in nominal GDP and an increase in government expenditure on health (€1 073 billion in 2020 compared with €978 billion in 2019), mainly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The most significant categories of health expenditure were ‘hospital services’ (3.4% of GDP), ‘outpatient services’ (2.5% of GDP) and 'medical products, appliances and equipment' (1.2% of GDP). 

Highest ratio of health expenditure to GDP in Czechia, Austria, France

In 2020, Czechia and Austria (both 9.2%) and France (9.0%) recorded the highest ratios of government expenditure devoted to health to GDP among EU Member States. Meanwhile, Latvia (4.8% of GDP), Poland and Ireland (both 5.4% of GDP) recorded the lowest ratios. 

 

Bar graph: General government expenditure on health, in % of GDP, 2019 and 2020, in the EU, euro area, EU Member States and EFTA countries

Source dataset: gov_10a_exp

 

The EU Member State recording the largest increase in the ratio of government expenditure devoted to health to GDP was Cyprus (5.9% in 2020 compared with 3.5% in 2019), followed by Malta (7.2% of GDP in 2020 compared with 5.2% of GDP in 2019) and Hungary (6.4% of GDP in 2020 compared with 4.5% of GDP in 2019). 

 

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Methodological note: 

  • While a significant effort was undertaken to harmonise the recording of government measures to mitigate the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, some further harmonisation of data for the reference year 2020 might be needed. The likelihood of future revisions is thus higher than usual and data are provisional.

 

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