Estonia’s general government spending on social protection is well below the European Union average, but at the same time the country ranks eighth in terms of family and child benefits, it appears from data released by Eurostat on Monday.
While across the EU, social spending accounted for 19.2 percent of gross domestic product on average in 2015, the corresponding figure for Estonia was 12.9 percent.
Broken down into groups, expenditure on sickness and disability reached 2.1 percent of GDP in Estonia compared to the EU average of 2.8 percent. Pensions accounted for 7 percent (10.3 percent), unemployment for 1.1 percent (1.4 percent), survivor benefits for 0.1 percent (1.4 percent), and other areas of social protection for 0.3 percent (1.7 percent).
The sole area of social protection where Estonia’s spending was above the EU average was support for families and children, with spending accounting for 2.3 percent of GDP compared to the EU average of 1.7 percent.
Social protection spending was smaller only in Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Cyprus, Malta, and the Czech Republic.
Estonia ranks low also in health expenditure, channeling 5.5 percent of GDP into this field whereas, the EU average is 7.2 percent. The lowest levels of health spending were observed in Cyprus, Latvia, Romania, Greece, and Luxembourg.
Editor: Dario Cavegn