Social Spending as a Percentage of GDP in OECD Countries: Chart

European member countries in the OECD are some of the big spenders on social spending. France tops the ranking in terms of gross public and total net social spending as a percentage of GDP. This is not surprising as the country has some of the best safety net systems in the world. It is not uncommon to see unemployed people in France go on vacations that are funded by liberal unemployment and other social benefits.

The US is the 2nd largest social spender after France. This may be shocking to many readers since the US is the world’s top capitalist country and any social spending by the government is considered as wasteful and is hated by some sections of the society. However the US has some of the biggest social spending in the planet with programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, VA and thousands are others where the state tries to protect and offer a safety net to the poor and the disadvantaged. While Medicare and other social programs are totally unnecessary in a pure capitalist system, the society as a whole has come to the realization that such programs are needed in modern times since in the land of the largest number of billionaires and millionaires it would be disgrace if millions of other suffer in abject poverty or even face starvation if left to the market forces. In after defense, the Medicare program that offers free health care to senior citizens is the biggest expenditure in the Federal budget.

Countries such as Mexico and Turkey spend the lowest on social spending as a percentage of GDP.

The following chart shows the gross public and total net social spending as a % of GDP for OECD countries:

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Source: OECD

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