In 2018, the EU’s 27 Member States spent €50.7 billion of government expenditure on recreation and sport. Overall in the EU, general government expenditure on recreation and sport has remained relatively stable as a percentage of total expenditure since the beginning of the time series in 2001. In recent years, however, slight increases in the shares of total expenditure were visible, Eurostat says in its latest report.
Highest share of expenditure on recreation and sport in Hungary, lowest in Bulgaria, Ireland and Malta
In 2018, the ratio of government recreation and sport expenditure to total expenditure varied across EU Member States, from 0.4% of the total expenditure in Bulgaria, Ireland and Malta, to 2.1% in Hungary.
Luxembourg spent most per inhabitant on recreation and sport, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia the 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 six EU Member States in 2018: Luxembourg (€500 per inhabitant), Sweden (€254), Finland (€226), France (€204), the Netherlands (€202) and Denmark (€201).
In contrast, the lowest recreation and sport expenditure per inhabitant was recorded in Bulgaria (€11), Romania (€30) and Slovakia (€31), followed by Lithuania (€35) and Croatia (€39).