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Press Release 29/12/2016


Expenditure on social protection in the Basque Country reached 16,938.7 million euros in 2015 - 1.0% more than the previous year

Per capita expenditure stood at 7,797 euros, 1.1% more than the previous year

Total expenditure on social protection in the Basque Country in 2015 was 16,938.7 million euros, 1.0% more than the previous year according to Eustat data, and following the European System of Integrated Social Protection Statistics (SEEPROS). In terms of GDP, expenditure on social protection was 24.5% of GDP in 2015, half a percentage point down on 2014, yet almost 0.9 percentage points more than in 2010, and over four percentage points more than the 2008 figure.

In per capita terms, expenditure on social protection reached 7,797 euros in 2015, 1.1% more than the previous year and 6.0% more than five years prior.

A detailed analysis of expenditure in the Basque Country reveals that, excluding administration costs, the value of benefits stood at 16,644.2 million euros in 2015, which was an increase of 1.1% from 2014.

Table 1: Main Social Protection in the Basque Country figures  and indicators. 2010-2015(A)
Source: Eustat. Social protection account

Most spending on benefits continued to go towards the Old Age function, which includes pensions, care allowances for houses and home assistance, reaching 7,150.4 million euros in 2015. It was also the function that saw spending rise the most, i.e. by 4.2%. The Illness/Healthcare function came second, with 4,268.0 million euros spent on it in 2015, 2.0% up on 2014.

Spending on the Unemployment function, which includes unemployment benefits as well as expenditure on job training and development, accounted for 7.4% of spending in 2015. It was also the only function to see spending decrease from 2014 (by 19.6%). Expenditure on this function also decreased in 2014 - by 18.3%, to be precise. The analysis of 2014 data, the most recent year for which we have definitive data, reveals that cash benefits for unemployment decreased by 18.8% compared with 2013, and benefits in kind (primarily job training) also fell by 9.9%. These changes are consistent with the decrease in the recipients of unemployment benefits: -17.5% in 2015 and -11.8% in 2014.

Graph 1. Distribution of expenditure on social benefits by functions. 2014
Source: Eustat. Social protection account

The distribution of spending by function was similar to previous years. Spending was concentrated on Old Age and Illness/Healthcare, which accounted for 41.7% and 25.4% of spending on benefits respectively. The functions to receive the lowest proportion of spending were Social Exclusion, which saw its share in total spending increase slightly, going from 2.6% of spending on benefits in 2010 to 3.0% in 2014, and Family/Children, which accounted for 2.9% of spending on benefits in 2014.

With regard to the institutional units that spend money on social protection, spending by the Social Security System and State Administrations accounted for 61.3% of total expenditure in 2014 - 0.5% up on 2013.

Expenditure by the Basque Administrations accounted for 31.3%, reaching 5,243.1 million euros in 2014, 1.9% more than in 2013. Within the group Basque Administrations there is the public system of social benefits created by the Basque Government, that includes Lanbide, Regional Councils and Local Administrations, which increased their expenditure by 3.6%, going from 1,814.4 million in 2013 to 1,878.6 million in 2014. On the other hand, expenditure in the public health system, included within Basque Administrations, rose by 0.9%, going from 3,332.9 million in 2013 to 3,364.5 million in 2014.

Table 2: Expenditure per group of institutional units and year (million €). 2010-2014
Source: Eustat. Social protection account

Per capita expenditure on social protection in terms of PPP in the Basque Country is 5% higher than the figure for the EU-27 and 36% higher than the figure for Spain

Compared with Europe and looking at the most recent data published by Eustat (which relate to 2014), spending on social protection per inhabitant in the Basque Country when measured in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) stood at 8,341, higher than the EU-27 average (7,937) and the average for Spain (6,121), a trend that has not changed since 2008.

Graph 2. Expenditure on Social Protection per capita in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS). 2005-2014
Source: Eustat. Social protection account and Eurostat (12/05/2016)

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute
C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz
Press Service: Tel: 945 01 75 62
Further press releases on the social protection account of the Basque Country
Social protection account of the Basque Country Databank
Methodological note on the Social Protection Account

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