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Basic public services expenditure in Spain and its regions (2002-2013)

Since 1994, Ivie and the BBVA Foundation have jointly developed a research program undertaking ambitious tasks to produce information that has been very useful for research work and for designing public policies with a dual objective:

  • To generate new information on the performance of the public sector in Spain and its regions.
  • To analyze the data in order to accurately assess the intensity of the performance of the public sector in the regions, to identify the causes of differences in regions and their implications from the perspective of territorial solidarity and economic efficiency.

This research program now includes two databases: Regional differences in the Spanish public sector and Basic public services expenditure in Spain and its regions (2002-2013).

Education, health and social protection, known as basic public services (BPS), are particularly relevant activities of the public sector: due to the importance of the resources allocated to them and the activities carried out. In fact, they represent more than half of public spending and are needed to reach the equity goals pursued by public interventions, especially the principle of equal opportunities.

Available data

This database includes information on public sector activities related to the provision and management of services: health (primary, specialist and hospital care, public health, clinical research); education (pre-school, primary, secondary, post-secondary and higher, scholarships, education services); and social services (retirements, disease and disability, advanced age, family protection, unemployment, housing, social exclusion).

The study examines the trajectory of BPS expenditure in Spain and its autonomous communities over the course of the 21st century in order to provide objective data which can be referred to in assessments and decision making. The period covered allows differences between regions to be distinguished before and during the crisis.


The most relevant results of this database are analyzed in the study Servicios públicos, diferencias territoriales e igualdad de oportunidades, published in May 2015.

Press release | Presentation | Report

The monograph was updated on 20th May 2015 to incorporate the changes made by the General Intervention Board of the State Administration (IGAE) in the official data of the autonomous community of Asturias during the fiscal years 2012 and 2013.

Structure of the database

The first worksheet includes the expenditure for each region by levels of government: central administration, autonomous communities, local corporations and social security administrations. Within the worksheet, there are separate sheets for each of the three basic public services (education, health and social protection) and their aggregate.

In order to facilitate the analysis, the database also includes the data per capita with the same breakdown (worksheet 2), as well as rates of evolution in real terms per capita (worksheet 3).

  • Worksheet 1: Distribution of BPS expenditure by regions. Thousands of euros
  • Worksheet 2: Distribution of BPS expenditure by regions. Euros per capita
  • Worksheet 3: Distribution of BPS expenditure by regions. Rate of evolution

Recommended citation

BBVA Foundation and Ivie (The Valencian Institute of Economic Research). Gasto en los servicios públicos fundamentales en España y sus comunidades autónomas (2002-2013). May 2015. Database available online: http://www.fbbva.es/TLFU/tlfu/esp/areas/econosoc/bbdd/sector_publico.jsp