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Glossary:European system of integrated social protection statistics (ESSPROS)

The European system of integrated social protection statistics, abbreviated as ESSPROS, is a common framework developed in the late 1970's by Eurostat and the European Union (EU) Member States providing a coherent comparison between European countries of social benefits to households and their financing, thus making an international comparison of the administrative national data on social protection possible.

ESSPROS is built on the concept of social protection, or the coverage of precisely defined risks and needs including health, disability, old age, family and unemployment; it records the receipts and the expenditure of the organizations or schemes involved in social protection interventions.

ESSPROS is composed of the core system and of modules. The core system contains two types of annual data (collected by Eurostat from 1990 on):

  • quantitative data: social protection receipts and expenditures by schemes (a distinct body of rules, supported by one or more institutional units, governing the provision of social protection benefits and their financing);
  • qualitative data: metadata by scheme and detailed benefit.

Social protection benefits are transfers to households, in cash or in kind, intended to relieve them from the financial burden of a number of risks or needs. The risks or needs of social protection included in ESSPROS are disability, sickness/healthcare, old age, survivors, family/children, unemployment, housing and social exclusion not elsewhere classified.

The modules contain supplementary statistical information on particular aspects of social protection: they relate to pensions' beneficiaries and to net social benefits.

Under ESSPROS, the expenditure of social protection is classified by type, indicating the nature of, or the reason for, the expenditure:

Social benefits can be further broken down by type or by function:

  • type refers to the form in which benefits are provided, for example in cash or in kind;
  • social protection functions refer to the needs covered by benefits: thus, income maintenance can be paid in with regard to health, but also disability, old age, maternity or unemployment.

Receipts of social protection schemes are classified by type or by origin:

  • the type gives the nature of, or the reason for a payment: social contributions, general government contributions, transfers from other schemes and other receipts;
  • the origin specifies the institutional sector from which the payment is received:
  • rest of the world.

Further information

Related concepts

Statistical data