Statistics Explained

Government expenditure on cultural, broadcasting and publishing services

Data extracted in February 2022

Planned article update: 28 February 2023

Highlights

In 2020, general government expenditure across the EU on cultural services amounted to €69.5 billion or 1.0 % of all general government expenditure.

Figure 1: General government expenditure on cultural services, broadcasting and publishing services, 2020 (% of total expenditure)
Source: Eurostat (gov_10a_exp)

This article focuses on government expenditure on cultural services as well as on broadcasting publishing services. It is based on data gathered by Eurostat as part of the data collection exercise on government expenditure by the classification of functions of government (COFOG).

General government expenditure on cultural services, broadcasting and publishing services

In the European system of national and regional accounts (ESA 2010), the general government sector is defined as consisting of institutional units which are non-market producers whose output is intended for individual and collective consumption, and are financed by compulsory payments made by units belonging to other sectors, and institutional units principally engaged in the redistribution of national income and wealth. The general government sector comprises central government, state government, local government and social security funds.

The main functions of general government units include organising and redirecting flows of money, goods and services or other assets among corporations, among households, and between corporations and households (examples include the redistribution of national income and wealth), or the production of goods and services to satisfy households’ needs (for example, the provision of state health care or culture to the whole community).

The data presented here concern two groups of the COFOG (see Data sources section for more details):

  • cultural services (08.2); and
  • broadcasting and publishing services (08.3).


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General government expenditure on cultural services, broadcasting and publishing services

In 2020, across the EU, approximately 1.0 % of total general government expenditure was allocated to cultural services and around 0.4  % of total general government expenditure was devoted to broadcasting and publishing services.

This percentage remained relatively stable over time within the EU, although there were considerable differences when analysing the results for individual countries (see Figure 1).

Highest share of expenditure on cultural services in Hungary

In 2020, the highest shares of expenditure on cultural services were recorded in Hungary (2.6 %), Latvia (2.2 %), Lithuania and Estonia (both 2.1 %) and Malta (2.0 %), and among EFTA countries - in Iceland (2.5 %). The lowest shares were observed in Greece (0.3 %), Portugal, Cyprus and Italy (all 0.6 %).

Highest share of expenditure on broadcasting and publishing services in Croatia

In 2020, the highest shares of expenditure on broadcasting and publishing services were recorded in Croatia (0.8 %), Ireland and Hungary (both 0.7 %) as well as Germany and Slovenia (both 0.6 %). The lowest shares were observed in Malta (0.1 %).


In absolute terms, EU general government expenditure on cultural services was €69.5 billion in 2020, increasing from €67.2 billion in 2019 (see Table 1 and Table 2).

Table 1 shows general government expenditure on cultural services in 2019 and 2020, while Table 2 shows similar information for broadcasting and publishing services (data are shown in absolute values and as a share of all general government expenditure for both reference years).

General government expenditure on cultural services as a share of GDP stood at 0.5 % in 2020, unchanged from 2019. The ratio remained stable in the majority of the Member States, increased slightly in eight Member States and declined in two Member States.



Table 1: General government expenditure on cultural services, 2019 and 2020.png
Source: Eurostat (gov_10a_exp)



General government expenditure on broadcasting and publishing services as a share of GDP stood at 0.2 % in 2020, unchanged from 2019. The ratio increased in only one Member State (Bulgaria), while remained unchanged for all other Member States.



Table 2: General government expenditure on broadcasting and publishing services, 2019 and 2020.png
Source: Eurostat (gov_10a_exp)



Source data for tables and graphs

Data sources

Government finance statistics are collected by Eurostat on the basis of the European System of Accounts (ESA 2010) transmission programme. EU Member States are requested to transmit, among other tables, table 1100 on the ‘Expenditure of general government by function’ 12 months after the end of the reference period. Table 1100 provides information about expenditure of the general government sector divided into COFOG divisions and groups as well as ESA 2010 categories.

Provisional data

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, a full harmonisation of data for the reference year 2020 was not yet achieved. The likelihood of future revisions is thus higher than usual and EU and euro area data is provisional.

Data for Germany (2018-2020), Spain (2020), France (2019-2020), Italy (2020) and Portugal (2020) is provisional.

Classification of government expenditure by function

General government expenditure by classification of the functions of government (COFOG) is collected at two levels of detail. At its most aggregate level it classifies government expenditure into 10 main functions (divisions or COFOG level I breakdowns): general public services; defence; public order and safety; economic affairs; environmental protection; housing and community affairs; health; recreation, culture and religion; education; social protection. These divisions are further broken down into groups (COFOG level II).

COFOG Division 08 for recreation, culture and religion consists of the following COFOG groups:

  • 08.1: recreational and sporting services;
  • 08.2: cultural services;
  • 08.3: broadcasting and publishing services;
  • 08.4: religious and other community services;
  • 08.5: R&D related to recreation, culture and religion;
  • 08.6: recreation, culture and religion not elsewhere classified.

Among these six groups, cultural services and broadcasting and publishing services are those which account for a majority of culture-related government expenditure in the EU. Culture-related items cannot be distinguished in data for Groups 08.5 and 08.6.

Cultural services covered by COFOG Group 08.2 include:

  • the provision of cultural services;
  • administration of cultural affairs;
  • supervision and regulation of cultural facilities;
  • operation or support of facilities for cultural pursuits (libraries, museums, art galleries, theatres, exhibition halls, monuments, historic houses and sites, zoological and botanical gardens, aquaria, arboreta, etc.);
  • production, operation or support of cultural events (concerts, stage and film productions, art shows, etc.);
  • grants, loans or subsidies to support individual artists, writers, designers, composers and others working in the arts or to organisations engaged in promoting cultural activities;
  • national, regional or local celebrations provided they are not intended chiefly to attract tourists.

Broadcasting and publishing services covered by COFOG Group 08.3 include:

  • administration of broadcasting and publishing affairs;
  • supervision and regulation of broadcasting and publishing services;
  • operation or support of broadcasting and publishing services;
  • grants, loans or subsidies to support the construction or acquisition of facilities for television or radio broadcasting;
  • the construction or acquisition of plant, equipment or materials for newspaper, magazine or book publishing;
  • the production of material for broadcasting and its presentation;
  • the gathering of news or other information;
  • the distribution of published works.

Further information is available in Eurostat’s manual on sources and methods for the compilation of COFOG statistics — 2019 edition.

Definition of general government total expenditure

Government total expenditure is defined in ESA 2010, paragraph 8.100 by using as reference a list of ESA 2010 categories.

Government total expenditure comprises the following categories:

  • P.2, 'intermediate consumption': the purchase of goods and services by government;
  • P.5, 'gross capital formation' consists of: (a) gross fixed capital formation (P.51g); (b) changes in inventories (P.52); (c) acquisitions less disposals of valuables (P.53); where
  • P.51g, 'gross fixed capital formation': consists of acquisitions, less disposals, of fixed assets during a given period plus certain additions to the value of non-produced assets realised by the productive activity of producer or institutional units. Fixed assets are tangible or intangible assets produced as outputs from processes of production that are themselves used repeatedly, or continuously, in processes of production for more than one year;
  • D.1, 'compensation of employees': the wages of government employees plus non-wage costs such as social contributions;
  • D.29, 'other taxes on production, payable',
  • D.3, 'subsidies, payable',
  • D.4, 'property income, payable', consists of : (a) 'interest, payable' (D.41) and (b) 'other property income, payable' (D.42+D.43+D.44+D.45), where
  • D.41, 'interest': excludes settlements under swaps and forward rate arrangements, as these are treated as financial transactions in the ESA 2010;
  • D.5, 'current taxes on income, wealth, etc, payable';
  • D.62, social payments: cover social benefits and pensions paid in cash;
  • D.632, 'social transfers in kind - purchased market production';
  • D.7, 'other current transfers, payable';
  • D.8, 'adjustments for the change in pension entitlements'
  • D.9, 'capital transfers payable'
  • NP, 'acquisitions less disposals of non-financial non-produced assets': public investment spending. Non-financial non-produced assets consist of land and other tangible non-produced assets that may be used in the production of goods and services, and intangible non-produced assets.
  • Capital investments includes P.5 and NP.
  • Other current expenditure includes D.29, D.5 and D.8.

Gross Domestic Product

Throughout this publication, nominal GDP, i.e. GDP at current prices is used.

Context

Culture is one of Europe’s greatest assets: it is a source of values, identity and a sense of belonging; it also contributes towards well-being, social cohesion and inclusion. The cultural and creative sectors may also provide a stimulus for economic growth, job creation and international trade.

That is why culture is becoming increasingly important within the EU. In accordance with Article 167 of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU shall contribute to the flowering of the cultures of the Member States, while respecting their national and regional diversity and at the same time bringing the common heritage to the fore.

The EU supports these objectives through the Creative Europe programme, as well as a number of policy actions set out in the Work Plan for Culture (2015-2018) and the Work Plan for Culture (2019-2022). The latter, adopted by EU culture ministers in November 2018, sets out the main priorities for European cooperation in cultural policymaking: sustainability in cultural heritage; cohesion and well-being; an ecosystem supporting artists, cultural and creative professionals and European content; gender equality; and international cultural relations.

The production of reliable, comparable and up-to-date cultural statistics, which provide a basis for sound cultural policymaking, is a cross-sectorial priority in the latest work plan. Eurostat collates culture statistics from several different data collections to provide policymakers and other users with information on the main developments in the field of culture, covering issues such as education, employment, business, international trade, participation and consumption patterns.

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General government expenditure by function (COFOG) (gov_10a_exp)