Regional development

Subnational finance and regional development


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Subnational Governments in OECD countries: Key Data


 The OECD gathers and publishes annually updated data on subnational governments in 35 OECD member countries, including: 

  • the number of subnational governments by level and municipal size  
  • expenditure by economic function 
  • investment    
  • revenue
  • tax revenue
  • budget balance and debt

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Subnational Governments around the World: Structure and Finance 


The  OECD, in partnership with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), gathers and publishes data on subnational governments from 101 countries. A pilot study was publishin in October 2016 and includes: 

  • qualitative information on subnational government structure and responsibilities
  • macro-financial data assessing subnational government spending, investment, revenue and debt
  • financial indicators 
  • short comments on the structure of expenditure and investment (by type and economic function), revenue (tax, grants, user fees and property income, etc.) and the main characteristics of the debt and fiscal rules

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The pilot study formed the basis for the World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment, officially launched in November 2017 when the Steering Committee first met in Paris. The World Observatory is multi-stakeholder initiative dedicated to collecting comparable data and information on subnational finance and territorial organisation from over 130 countries.

  Cover: SNGs Around the World



Subnational governments are key economic and policy actors across OECD countries. Int the OECD area, they represent, on average, 40% of public expenditure63% of total public staff expenditure59% of public investment32% of public tax revenue and 20% of public debt. However, there are huge disparities across the OECD countries regarding the importance of subnational governments as economic and policy actors in regional development. 


The share of subnational governments in the general government sector‌

MLG: share of SNG

 ‌Source: OECD (2017), Subnational Governments in OECD Countries - Key Data, OECD Publishing, Paris


Subnational government expenditure by economic function


MLG: SNG breakdown

Source: OECD/UCLG (2016), Subnational Governments Around the World - Structure and Finance


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