Romania spent EUR 248 per inhabitant on education in 2015, the lowest sum in the European Union, where the average sum was EUR 1,400, according to an Eurostat study about how much are member states spending on education.
In 2015, over EUR 716 billion of general government expenditure was spent by the Member States on education. This figure is equivalent to almost 5% (4.9%) of the EU’s GDP. ‘Education’ is the fourth largest item of public expenditure, after ‘social protection’ (19.2%), ‘health’ (7.2%) and ‘general public services’ such as external affairs and public debt transactions (6.2%).
In 2015, the ratio to GDP of government expenditure for education varied by more than one to two across the EU Member States. Overall, 18 of the 28 Member States recorded a ratio of 5% or more.
At the lower end was Romania (3.1%), followed by Ireland (3.7%), Bulgaria and Italy (both 4.0%), Spain (4.1%), Germany and Slovakia (both 4.2%) as well as Greece (4.3%). In contrast, Denmark (7.0%) spent the most in relative terms, ahead of Sweden (6.5%), Belgium (6.4%), Finland (6.2%), Estonia (6.1%), Latvia and Portugal (both 6.0%).
Expenditure of more than EUR 2500 per inhabitant was registered in Luxembourg (EUR 4,685), Denmark (EUR 3,368) and Sweden (EUR 2,977). At the opposite end of the scale, expenditure stood below EUR 500 per inhabitant in Romania (EUR 248), Bulgaria (EUR 250) and Croatia (EUR 494). On average in 2015, expenditure on ‘education’ amounted to EUR 1,405 per inhabitant in the EU.