Malta’s social expenditure increased by 3.9% in 2018 – NSO

Data shows that social security contributory benefits, hospitals and other health care facilities contributed to the increase

Miguela Xuereb

Malta’s social expenditure amounted to €1,883.2 million in 2018 which means 3.9% when compared to the expenditure during 2017.

The National Statistics Office, NSO, published this data through the Social Protection Outlay focusing on the data collected from 2014 to 2018 of Malta’s social protection system, with a chapter devoted to each of the eight social risks covered in ESSPROS; sickness/health care, disability, old age, survivors, family/children, unemployment, housing and social exclusion.

ESSPROS is a European system of integrated social protection statistics.

The main schemes that contributed to the 3.9% were social security contributory benefits which amounted to € 29.3 million while hospitals and other health care facilities amounted to €18.7 million.

Infographic by: NSO

The expenditure on sickness and health care amounted to €625.8 million and €822.0 million was the amount spent under the category of old age. The total number of pensioners in 2018 amounted to 91,948 with 56.9% were male.

The data also shows that in 2017 €33.1 million was recouped in social taxes out of €1,811,8.

This publication provides also an overview of the geographic location of social benefits distributed in Malta and Gozo. In this case, the data is split up on a local council level.

Social Security beneficiaries by locality

166,183 persons in Malta and Gozo received at least one type of social security benefit during 2018. This means 33.7% of the population. Women amounted to 55.6% of the total beneficiaries.

The highest share of recipients was residing in the southern harbour district while the lowest number of recipients were registered in the northern harbour and northern districts.

On a locality level, Floriana (472 persons per 1,000 population) witnessed the larges proportion of social benefits recipients while Swieqi contained the smallest share.

Infographic by: NSO

Unemployment benefits registered the lowest percentage of beneficiaries, standing at 1.5% of the total population.

During 2018, sickness beneficiaries totalled to 7.9% of the population in Malta and Gozo. Beneficiaries ranged from 16.8% of total residents in Cospicua to 2.2% in Swieqi.

According to the data collected by NSO, 9,269 persons obtained a disability benefit during 2018. This amounts to 1.9% of the population. Xewkija reported the highest share of beneficiaries.

Infographic by: NSO

Social Protection in the EU

European Union (EU) countries spent 26.8% of their combined GDP to cover social schemes in 2017.

The data also shows that social expenditure to GDP ratios ranged from 31.7% in France to 14.1% in Romania and Malta with 15.9% and ranked in the 23rd place amongst EU member states.

Lithuania reported the largest share of pensioners in 2017 while Cyprus recorded the lowest ratio at 33.3% and 18.6% respectively.