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How much do governments spend on recreation and sport?

23/09/2020

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In 2018, the EU's 27 Member States spent €50.7 billion of government expenditure on recreation and sport. Overall in the EU, general government expenditure on recreation and sport has remained relatively stable as a percentage of total expenditure since the beginning of the time series in 2001. In recent years, however, slight increases in the shares of total expenditure were visible.

 

General government expenditure on recreation and sport in the EU, 2018

 

Highest share of expenditure on recreation and sport in Hungary, lowest in Bulgaria, Ireland and Malta

In 2018, the ratio of government recreation and sport expenditure to total expenditure varied across EU Member States, from 0.4% of the total expenditure in Bulgaria, Ireland and Malta, to 2.1% in Hungary.

 

Ratio of government recreation and sport expenditure to total expenditure in 2018.

Source dataset: gov_10a_exp

 

Luxembourg spent most per inhabitant on recreation and sport, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia the least

The amounts spent by EU governments can be put into perspective with the size of the population of each Member State.

Recreation and sport government expenditure per inhabitant was above €200 in six EU Member States in 2018: Luxembourg (€500 per inhabitant), Sweden (€254), Finland (€226), France (€204), the Netherlands (€202) and Denmark (€201).

In contrast, the lowest recreation and sport expenditure per inhabitant was recorded in Bulgaria (€11), Romania (€30) and Slovakia (€31), followed by Lithuania (€35) and Croatia (€39).

 

General government expenditure on recreation and sport in 2018

Source datasets: gov_10a_exp (expenditure) and nama_10_pe (population)

 

This information is based on general government expenditure for the function 'recreation and sporting services' (according to the Classification of the Functions of Government - COFOG).

 

For more information, refer to the set of statistical articles based on government expenditure by function. An interactive infographic is also available on the Eurostat website.

 

This news item marks the European Week of Sport (23 – 30 September).

 

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