Society at a Glance 2014

OECD Social Indicators

image of Society at a Glance 2014

This seventh edition of Society at a Glance, the biennial OECD overview of social indicators addresses the growing demand for quantitative evidence on social well-being and its trends. It updates some indicators included in the previous editions published since 2001 and introduces several new ones; in total: 25 indicators. It includes data for the 34 OECD Member countries and where available data for key partners (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa) and for other G20 countries (Argentina and Saudi Arabia). This report features a special chapter on the social impact of the recent crisis (Chapter 1) and provides a guide to help readers understand the structure of OECD social indicators (Chapter 2). All indicators are available as a web book and e-book on OECD iLibrary, as is the related database.

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Social spending

In 2012-13, public social spending averaged an estimated 21.9% of GDP across the 34 OECD countries (, Panel A). In general, public spending is high in continental and northern European countries, while it is below the OECD average in most countries in Eastern Europe and outside Europe. Belgium, Denmark, Finland and France spent more than 30% of GDP on social expenditures. By contrast, Korea and Mexico spent less than 10% of GDP. Social spending in the emerging economies in the late 2000s was lower than the OECD average, ranging from around 2% in Indonesia to about 15-16% in Brazil and the Russian Federation (, Panel A).

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