Eurostat: The Highest Share of Expenditure on Fire-Protection Services is in Bulgaria

Firefighters are one of the groups in the forefront of the coronavirus crisis response. In many countries they are involved not only in their traditional role, but also in helping to assure other essential services to their communities such as driving ambulances, delivery of medicines and food, covid-19 testing or retrieval of the deceased.

In 2019, almost 240 000 persons were employed as firefighters in the 22 EU Member States with available data, representing 0.1% of total EU employment. Among these EU Member States, Estonia, Cyprus and Latvia recorded the highest shares of firefighters in their workforces (all 0.4 % of total employment), Eurostat data showed.

Spotlight on government expenditure

In 2018, the 27 EU Member States' government expenditure on 'fire-protection services' amounted to €29.5 billion. This expenditure is equivalent to 0.5% of total government expenditure, which is less than the amount spent on police services (expenditure equivalent to 1.9% of total expenditure in 2018).

Overall, in the EU, public expenditure on fire-protection services remained stable at around 0.4 - 0.5% of total expenditure since the beginning of the time series in 2001.

Highest share of expenditure on fire-protection services in Bulgaria, lowest in Denmark

In 2018, the ratio of government fire-protection expenditure to total expenditure varied across EU Member States from 0.1% of total expenditure in Denmark, 0.2% in Malta and 0.3% in Ireland, Austria, Portugal and Slovenia, to 0.7% in Czechia and Lithuania, 0.8% in Romania and 0.9% in Bulgaria.

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