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Poland is a leader in social spending among post-socialist countries


  • There are plenty of people who claim that Poland too spends little on social expenditures, which include cash transfers (especially pensions) and free services financed by taxes (education, health care). Meanwhile, Poland has allocated 21.3% of GDP to social expenditures in 2019 - the most among post-socialist OECD countries. This has happened following the extension of 500+ program for all children and the introduction of the thirteenth pension 
  • There are plenty of OECD countries that allocate a smaller share of GDP for social expenditures than Poland. These include: Slovenia, UK, New Zealand, Czech Republic, USA, Hungary, Canada, Estonia, Slovakia, Iceland, Australia, Lithuania, Latvia, Israel, Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, South Korea.
  • Of the post-socialist OECD countries, only the Czech Republic, Estonia and Lithuania increased their social expenditures more, but to a lower level than in Poland.  On the other hand, Hungary, Slovenia and Slovakia decreased social expenditures in relation to GDP.
  • In the last twenty years, Germany, Slovakia, Israel, Sweden, Australia, Hungary and the Netherlands have reduced social expenditures as a share of GDP. 


Jan Kożuchowski, assistant to the Chairman of the FOR Committee, economist

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