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Social protection expenditure

The purpose of the Social Expenditure Statistics is to illuminate expenditure connected to social protection targeting individuals and households. Social protection encompasses a society’s interventions intended to relieve individuals and households of the financial burden of a defined set of risks or needs, e.g. illness. The statistics provide an overview of the development in expenditures related to social protection in Denmark and can be used to compare the level of social protection internationally. The statistics have been compiled since 2007 and are based on a European statistics system.

Statistical presentation

The statistics are an annual statement of expenditures on benefits connected to social protection assessed in DKK million. Social benefits are benefits intended to relieve households and individuals of the financial burden of a defined set of risks or needs, e.g. illness or unemployment. The statement includes both cash benefits and benefits in kind (e.g. free health care services). The statistics are divided into eight main areas and includes the whole of Denmark as well as some Danish pensioners abroad. The benefits include both public and private expenses.

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Statistical processing

The data for this statistic is collected yearly via the main sources: central and local accounts. It is supplemented with internal data deliveries from insurance- and pensions subsectors, application matrixes, hours and days of absence from work, and an external data delivery on tax rates used for enumerating the statistic from the Ministry of Finance.

The collected data is validated via removal of potential errors, coding, and treatment processes leading to the final result, which, amongst other things, demands reviews and quality assurance of codes, expenditures and developments over time.

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Data on social expenditure is in big demand from international organizations, e.g. from Eurostat and Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion (DG EMPL).

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Accuracy and reliability

This statistic is based on the statistic for General Government Finances, and is relevant for users interested in expenditures connected to social protection (expenditures linked to education are excluded from this statistic).

The statistic is published on a yearly basis and is revised two years back in time in every production, which ensures consistency and transparency in the data.

In regards to possible uncertainties, the level of the total social expenditures to be slightly underestimated.

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Timeliness and punctuality

The statistics are published annually, approximately 10 months after the end of the calendar year. The statistics are usually published without delay in relation to the scheduled date.

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The statistic is comparable from 2007 and onwards. It is comparable to the statistic for General Government Finances, which follows the principles of National Accounts.

The statistic is regulated by order by the EU and is also published by Eurostat via the ESSPROS-system (European System of Integrated Social PROtection Statistics), albeit in slightly different categories than those presented in the Danish Stat bank. This makes the statistic internationally comparable with statistics in other countries reporting to the ESSPROS system in Eurostat.

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Accessibility and clarity

The statistic is published annually in the form of two statistics tables in the Statbank and a Danish news release in Nyt fra Danmarks Statistik. The statistics are also part of the Danish Statistisk Tiårsoversigt.

In addition, internationally comparable figures for this statistic are available in the Social protection expenditures available on Eurostat's website.

More information is available on the page of Social Expenditures at Statistics Denmark’s website, as well as on the site on classifications, where e.g. codes, categories and manuals in for the statistic are accessible.

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