Friday, June 21, 2024

How much do governments spend on recreation and sport?

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In 2017, the EU’s 28 Member States spent €51.3 billion of government expenditure on recreation and sport. Overall, in the EU, the general government expenditure on recreation and sport has remained stable as a percentage of total expenditure since the beginning of the time series in 2004.


Highest share of expenditure on recreation and sport in Hungary, lowest in Croatia

In 2017, the ratio of government recreation and sport expenditure to total expenditure varied across EU Member States from 0.2% of the total expenditure in Croatia, 0.4% in Ireland, Malta, Slovakia and the United Kingdom, to 1.2% in Luxembourg, 1.4% in Estonia and 2.5% in Hungary.


General government expenditure on recreation and sport in the EU as share of expenditure in 2017

The source dataset can be found here.


Luxembourg spent most per inhabitant on recreation and sport, Croatia and Bulgaria 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 three EU Member States in 2017: Luxembourg (€492 per inhabitant), Sweden (€256) and Finland (€206), closely followed by the Netherlands (€199), Denmark (€192) and France (€183).

In contrast, the lowest recreation and sport expenditure per head was recorded in Croatia (€13 per inhabitant) and Bulgaria (€16), followed by Slovakia (€23), Romania (€25), Lithuania (€31) and Malta (€32).


General government expenditure on recreation and sport, per inhabitant 2017

The source dataset can be found here (expenditure) and here (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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