Social policies and data

Social Expenditure Database (SOCX)


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Social Expenditure Database (SOCX)

The OECD Social Expenditure Database (SOCX) has been developed in order to serve a growing need for indicators of social policy. It includes reliable and internationally comparable statistics on public and (mandatory and voluntary) private social expenditure at programme level as well as net social spending indicators. SOCX provides a unique tool for monitoring trends in aggregate social expenditure and analysing changes in its composition. It covers 35 OECD countries for the period 1980-2013/14 and estimates for 2014-2016.

Latest analysis

October 2016: Social Expenditure Update - 8-page report (.pdf) (see also in French and Japanese)
Social spending stays at historically high levels in many OECD countries - Insights from the OECD Social Expenditure database (SOCX)

See also background information:
- all figures from above SOCX data update 2016 ( in one .xls file)
- net social expenditure indicators: country data 2001-2013 (.pdf), net social spending data (Table.xls)
- Sources and methods on estimates for 2014-2016 (.pdf)

For data on social benefit Recipients, see the Social Benefit Recipients Database (SOCR)

Press release in Spanish and Japanese

See also May 2017: A Decade of Social Protection Development in Selected Asian Countries

Policy Brief on the Future of work: Basic Income as a Policy Option: Can it add up?

Child Well Being Data Portal: Child Policies indicators


See data for all countries/years from aggregated SOCX data (link below).

SOCX Database

SOCX 1980-2013-2016 contains 3 datasets 

Aggregated data (public and private social spending data in various units)

Detailed data by social programme
Reference series  (GDP, NNI, governement spending, PPPs, population, etc.)
  (more reference series i.e. population, employment, unemployment, etc. can be found via OECD Social Indicators)


OECD.Stat Instructions

Default views in OECD.Stat are as follows:

- years 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2010 and 2013/14
(data for intervening years are also available by changing the time period selection)

- all countries are selected for aggregated and reference series datasets

Default selections can be modified by double-clicking on appropriate variable and selecting appropriate item(s).


- all variables can be moved by drag & drop in headers/columns/lines as in a pivot-table

- meta-data information are available by clicking on "i" next to specific variable/item

- any table can be exported into Excel / text file by clicking on appropriate top-right icon

- datasets in French available by clicking on "version française" at top-right of screen  

Envelope iconClick here if you wish to be informed when the SOCX database is updated.
For comments and questions please email

SOCX Manual/Methodology

See Part II. (p.88) OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers No. 124, October 2011: “Is the European welfare state really more expensive? Indicators on social spending, 1980-2012 and a manual to the OECD Social Expenditure database (SOCX)" 


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