Social expenditure-to-GDP ratio

In 2020, the level of social expenditure according to the European System of Integrated Social Protection Statistics (ESSPROS) as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), expressed by the social expenditure-to-GDP ratio, was a preliminary 34.4%. The increase in social expenditure in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been much higher than recorded so far. In addition, the economic growth went dramatically down by -5.1%, considerably more than due to the financial and the euro debt crisis in 2009 (-1.9%). In all a preliminary increase in social expenditure-to-GDP ratio of 5.1%age points was recorded compared to the previous year.

If wage tax and social contributions, partly due from cash benefits, were deducted from social expenditure, the net social expenditure-to-GDP ratio was -2.8%age points lower (2018 as the last available year: 26.4%). Before the tax reform in 2016, the difference between net social expenditure-to-GDP ratio and social expenditure-to-GDP ratio was -3.1%age points (2015). Social benefits paid after consideration of deductions were above all guaranteed remuneration by employers in the event of sickness, above bad weather compensations for building workers, pensions and sickness benefits, while benefits for families were granted in full.

Please consult our German website for tables and charts containing further information.

Results (overview): Social expenditure-to-GDP ratio


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