Romania, among the EU states that spend the least on recreation and sport

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In 2017, the EU’s 28 Member States spent EUR 51.3 billion of government expenditure on recreation and sport. Overall, in the EU, the general government expenditure on recreation and sport has remained stable as a percentage of total expenditure since the beginning of the time series in 2004, say the latest statistics released by Eurostat.

Highest share of expenditure on recreation and sport in Hungary, lowest in Croatia

In 2017, the ratio of government recreation and sport expenditure to total expenditure varied across EU Member States from 0.2% of the total expenditure in Croatia, 0.4% in Ireland, Malta, Slovakia and the United Kingdom, to 1.2% in Luxembourg, 1.4% in Estonia and 2.5% in Hungary.

Luxembourg spent most per inhabitant on recreation and sport, Croatia and Bulgaria 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 three EU Member States in 2017: Luxembourg (€492 per inhabitant), Sweden (€256) and Finland (€206), closely followed by the Netherlands (€199), Denmark (€192) and France (€183).

In contrast, the lowest recreation and sport expenditure per head was recorded in Croatia (€13 per inhabitant) and Bulgaria (€16), followed by Slovakia (€23), Romania (€25), Lithuania (€31) and Malta (€32).

The figures come amid celebration of the European Week of Sport (23 – 30 September).

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