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Government Spending by Country

Government spending on a country basis

Government Spending by Country

The spending priorities and capabilities of each country differ widely. Here is a look at the amount of government spending of various countries as a percentage of the GDP of those countries. The cost of living in specific nations and the size of the governments are also factors in how much the government needs to spend.

Highest and Lowest Government Spenders

Several Central African nations have very low spending in relation to GDP. Sudan has the lowest government spending as a percentage of its GDP in the world. It spends 7.59 percent of its GDP. Madagascar’s government is the highest spender in the world in proportion to its GDP. It spends 63 percent of its GDP.

South America

South America is home to moderate government spending, with all countries in South America spending less than 31 percent of their GDPs. Brazil spends 26 percent of the country’s GDP. Chile spends 18 percent of its GDP. Ecuador spends the least in South America, with 12 percent of its GDP being spent.


In the United Kingdom, government spending accounts for more than 40 percent of the country’s GDP. Switzerland is the only European country that spends less than 20 percent of its GDP. Switzerland spends 19 percent of its GDP.

The Middle East, Asia and North America

Israel’s government is the biggest self-investor on the Middle East and Asia. It spends 46 percent of its GDP. Meanwhile, the government of Japan is among the lowest spenders in the same region in proportion to its GDP. It spends 14 percent of its GDP. Bangladesh spends 8.75 percent of its GDP, the lowest of any country in Asia.

Australia sends about 25 percent of its GDP via the government. The United States ranks somewhere in the middle of the world’'s governments in relation to its spending. It spends 21 percent of its GDP.

What Is This Money Spent On?

Government spending represents an enormous number of expenditures that are all included in the government spending figures. These expenditures include government wages and salaries, government grants, social benefits, dividends, rent and other assorted expenses that a government needs to sustain itself.

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