Bulgaria is third-lowest among European Union member countries, jointly with Italy, in the ratio to GDP of government spending on education, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on August 28.
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 five per cent or more, Eurostat said.
At the lower end was Romania (3.1 per cent), followed by Ireland (3.7 per cent), Bulgaria and Italy (both four per cent), Spain (4.1 per cent), Germany and Slovakia (both 4.2 per cent) as well as Greece (4.3 per cent).
In contrast, Denmark (seven per cent) spent the most in relative terms, ahead of Sweden (6.5 per cent), Belgium (6.4 per cent), Finland (6.2 per cent), Estonia (6.1 per cent), Latvia and Portugal (both six per cent).
In 2015, more than 716 billion euro of general government expenditure was spent by EU countries on education. This figure is equivalent to almost five per cent (4.9 per cent) of the EU’s GDP, Eurostat said.
Education is the fourth largest item of public expenditure, after social protection (19.2 per cent), health (7.2 per cent) and general public services such as external affairs and public debt transactions (6.2 per cent).
Expenditure of more than 2500 euro per inhabitant was registered in Luxembourg (4685 euro), Denmark (3368 euro) and Sweden (2977 euro).
At the opposite end of the scale, expenditure was below 500 euro per inhabitant in Romania (248 euro), Bulgaria (250 euro) and Croatia (494 euro).
On average in 2015, expenditure on education amounted to 1405 euro per inhabitant in the EU, Eurostat said.