16 OECD countries spend more than Norway on public welfare

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Norway doesn’t top the list for the percentage of GDP that various countries spend on public welfare. 16 OECD countries are ahead of us, according to the Danish trade union, 3F.


Net, Norway uses 18% of gross national product (GDP) on public social benefits, such as pensions, sickness, and disability benefits, writes Klassekampen.

Among 33 OECD countries, Norway is in 17th place. France is at the top, with 28% of GDP used on social expenditure. The figures are valid for 2013 for most countries.

Alexander Berg Erichsen, Adviser in the Professional Federation, believes that the interpretation of such comparisons must be made carefully, and stated that the data are not always completely comparable, but also extracted the overview:

‘This shows the idea that we have too expensive a welfare system does not add up. Even though the employment rate has fallen a bit lately, we still have relatively many people in work’, he said.

Norway’s GDP is among the highest in the world, which is likely to explain the 17th place. Chief economist, Frederik I. Pedersen, of 3F, believes it would be more relevant to compare expenditure on GDP in mainland Norway due to the strong oil industry. But neither of our neighbours with similar welfare systems have the highest social expenses.

The OECD is the Western World Organisation for Economic Integration, and aims,
inter alia, at promoting growth and social welfare.

NTB Scanpix / Norway Today