In 2017, the EU's 28 Member States spent €31.2 billion of government expenditure for 'fire-protection services', whilst almost 300 000 persons were employed as fire fighters in the European Union (EU) in 2017 as well as in 2018.
This expenditure is equivalent to 0.4% of the total government expenditure, which is less than the amount spent on police services (expenditure equivalent to 2.0% of total expenditure in 2017) and law courts (0.7%), but similar to government expenditure on prisons (0.4%).
Overall, in the EU, the public expenditure on fire-protection services remained stable as a percentage of total expenditure since the beginning of the time series in 2004.
Highest share of expenditure on fire-protection services in Bulgaria, lowest in Denmark
In 2017, the ratio of government fire-protection expenditure to total expenditure varied across EU Member States from 0.1% of the total expenditure in Denmark, 0.2% in Malta, and 0.3% in Portugal, Luxembourg, Ireland and Austria, to 0.7% in Latvia, Lithuania and Romania, and 0.8% in Bulgaria.
The source dataset can be found here (expenditure).
Luxembourg spent most per inhabitant on fire-protection
The amounts spent by EU governments can be put into perspective with the size of the population of each Member State.
Fire-protection government expenditure per inhabitant was above €100 in four EU Member States in 2017: Luxembourg (€113 per inhabitant), Finland (€106), the Netherlands (€104) and Sweden (€100), closely followed by Germany (€96) and France (€93).
In contrast, the lowest fire-protection expenditure per head was recorded in Malta (€17 per inhabitant), followed by Bulgaria (€21), Croatia and Portugal (both €22), Poland (€23), Romania (€24) and Slovakia (€26).
This news is published on the occasion of the International Fire-Fighters’ Day celebrated every year on 4 May.
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