Europeans spending less on culture

People in Denmark and Greece are Europe’s highest and lowest culture spenders


People in the EU are devoting less of their household spending to culture than they were 10 years ago, according to official data.

The share of household spending devoted to culture and recreation was 8.5 per cent across the EU in 2017, the EU’s official statistics agency Eurostat announced on 11 January.

This was down from 9.1 per cent in 2007.

The biggest spenders on culture and recreation were people in Denmark, who devoted 11.5 per cent of their household expenditure. They were closely followed by Sweden on 11 per cent, Finland on 10.5 per cent and  Slovakia on 10.4 per cent.

At the opposite end of the scale were people in Greece, who allocated just 4.6 per cent of their household spending to culture and recreation. Next-lowest were Romania on 5.8 per cent, and Ireland and Luxembourg both on 5.9 per cent.

The actual amounts spent on culture and recreation did rise slightly, from €1,300 per person per year in 2007 to €1,400 in 2017 in current prices. This is because people’s household spending rose more in other areas, perhaps including rent, food and transport.

Overall the EU spent more than €710 billion on culture and recreation in 2017, up from €655bn in 2007. This was 4.6 per cent of GDP, down from 5.0 per cent.

Words: Craig Nicholson
Photo: Yann Caradec

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