Data by scheme

Files including data by scheme and list of schemes for each country are published below (in csv format).

The time coverage of the files for each country is available in this  Excel file.

Member States



Third countries

EFTA countries


Candidate countries


Other countries

[UK]United Kingdom



Information on the data

Background and definition

The "social protection scheme" is the ESSPROS statistical unit and it is defined as follows (see "ESSPROS Manual and user guidelines – 2019 edition", Part 1, § 42):

A social protection scheme is a distinct body of rules, supported by one or more institutional units, governing the provision of social protection benefits and their financing.This definition calls for further clarification:

(i) Social protection schemes should at all times meet the condition that it must be possible to draw up a separate account of receipts and expenditures.

(ii) Preferably, social protection schemes are chosen in such a way that they provide protection against a single risk or need and cover a single specific group of beneficiaries.

This definition is further explained in the Manual in Chapter 4 (Part 1, § 41 to 47). Detailed information on each national social protection scheme used by countries in the compilation of ESSPROS statistics is included on the page "Qualitative information" in this section.

Purpose / use of the data

The data by scheme in combination with the qualitative information can be used by users to get a deeper and more concrete insight about the coverage of results at national level as published on Eurostat database online.

The qualitative information usually includes the name of the scheme, the reference national legislation, the name of the organisation(s) responsible for running the scheme, the benefits provided and so on. In addition, information on reforms in the area of social protection (introduction of a new scheme; transformation of some rules of an existing scheme, etc.) can be put in relation with their impact on the results published at national level.

Important note to users

However, it should not be forgotten that ESSPROS results are based on a methodology very close to national accounts, including general accounting conventions which may be different from business or other accounting frameworks users may be more accustomed to, specific conventions for including in the accounts non-observed economic transactions ("imputed transactions"), various types of estimates and so on.

As a consequence users should not expect to find in the data of a specific scheme the same results of the institutional unit managing the scheme and made publicly available according to business or other accounting legal obligations. In addition, as for similar statistics, the level of accuracy and precision of data is in general inversely proportional to the level of data detail.

As a summary, the data at the level of each social protection scheme are meant for expert users, who already have a good knowledge of the social protection systems of countries as well as ESSPROS methodology. Also the format and presentation of the data files (see information on "How to decode information and data included in the SDMX-CSV files") are more suitable for a complete download in a user dedicated database, to get a more detailed insight of results at national level, rather than for ad hoc extractions and visualisations. Finally, the access to these more detailed data is also meant to stimulate a gradual improvement of their quality via comments or observations by expert users.