Regional Development

Subnational Public Finance


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In the OECD, subnational governments - states, regions, municipalities - account for 40% of total public expenditure and 57% of total public investment in their countries. Subnational governments are key actors in public spending and investment, as well as in raising revenues and borrowing. 



Projects & Publications

Regional Government Finance and Investment in the OECD and EU: New Pilot Database and Report

5 May 2020

The OECD, with the support of the European DG REGIO of the European Commission, has developed a new and unique pilot database: the Regional Government Finance and Investment Database (REGOFI). It provides comparative data on regional government accounts in 24 countries, covering a total of 494 regional governments in the OECD and the European Union. Data are accessible online, including standardised indicators on regional government expenditure, revenue, investment, and debt, over the period 2010-16. The database is accompanied by a technical report that presents key findings.

Access the report

Access the database

Subnational Governments in OECD Countries: Key Data 
The subnational government finance dataset presents data on the institutional organisation at local and regional levels as well as on public finance. Financial data cover the general government sector and subnational government subsector (state and local government levels) in OECD member countries and in the EU. Four main dimensions are presented: expenditure (including investment), revenue, budget balance and debt. We regularly update this database and publish the data brochures.
OECD Subnational government structure and finance database
Brochure for OECD countries (2018 Edition)
Brochure for European Union countries
World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment (SNG-WOFI)

Covering over 120 countries and territories, the OECD/UCLG World Observatory on Subnational Government Finance and Investment (SNG-WOFI) initiative is the world’s leading source of internationally comparable data and analysis on subnational government structure and finance.

At the global level, subnational governments are key economic and social players. They represent around one quarter of overall public spending and 37% of total public investment worldwide.

Access the SNG-WOFI website


Regions and Cities at a Glance 2020

 November 2020

Regions and Cities at a Glance 2020 provides a comprehensive assessment of how regions and cities across the OECD are progressing towards stronger, more sustainable and more resilient economies and societies. The publication provides a unique comparative picture in a number of aspects connected to economic development, health, well-being and net zero-carbon transition across regions and cities in OECD and selected non-OECD countries.

The chapter Subnational government finance and investment reveals that subnational governments play a significant role in public spending. For example, education, health and protection amount to 57% of total subnational government expenditure.

Access the publication
Forthcoming: Uncovering the Unknown: Spending Indicators on Municipal Decision-making Authority 

This upcoming working paper presents findings on the degree of spending autonomy at municipal level in 32 unitary EU and OECD countries, using new databases and indicators. This is the first municipal-level comparative study on spending autonomy using these data. The paper also analyses municipal spending shares of general government expenditures in different sectors, using a sectoral breakdown of national accounts.


Related topics

Financing climate action in regions and cities


Public investment



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