SDG Indicator 11.4.1: Total expenditure (public and private) per capita spent on the preservation, protection and conservation of all cultural and natural heritage


Total funding from government (central, regional, local) and private sources (household, corporate & sponsorship and international sources) in the preservation, protection and conservation of cultural and/or natural heritage for a given year per capita. The results should be expressed (i) as per capita; and (ii) in PPP$. Unless an additional disaggregation is proposed, this indicator considers funding for in public and private sources together.

Data source

For public expenditure: At national level, ministries of finance, and/or ministries of culture, environment financial management systems are the source of government expenditure on heritage. Data on expenditure by lower levels of government can be centralized or collected directly from local authorities. For private expenditure: Household expenditure on culture is collected through general consumption expenditure surveys or dedicated cultural participation and consumption surveys. Data on other private sources of funding for heritage such (e.g. corporate sponsorship and philanthropy; private donations) are rarely collected systematically and would often require additional surveys proceeded by significant analytical, preparatory and advocacy work. International sources may be available through governmental financial systems when they are recorded on-budget, and off-budget international funding may sometimes be available through governmental aid management systems, although rarely with the disaggregation needed (ex. For heritage only). Data sources for international funding, such as the Official Development Aid data from the OECD-DAC database may be used as a complement, but often present problems of compatibility with other sources, such as government records.

Source definition

UNESCO Institute for statistics

Calculation method

The indicator is calculated by dividing total public funding in heritage (i.e. including transfers paid but excluding transfers received) from government (central, regional, local) and the total of private funding from households, other private sources such as donations, sponsorships or international sources in a given year by the number of inhabitants and by the PPP$ conversion factor.

Data required

Central, regional and local government expenditure data by type of heritage (cultural, natural); data on private funding from households, other private sources such as donations, sponsorships or international sources and number of inhabitants.


Government funding: When considered as per capita, a higher value would indicate a greater priority to protect cultural and natural heritage given by public authorities. When considered in PPP$, the indicator can show the 'real' amount of resources invested. Private funding: a higher value would signify a greater commitment from donors (national or international) to protecting national heritage in a given country. For international, it could also be potentially a greater degree of aid dependency for governments in terms of heritage protection. For all sources combined: the indicator would show the real, total value of resources invested per inhabitant. Since the indicator is constructed on a comparable scale (i.e. per capita or using a common currency), all its sub-components can be compared to over time, or between countries. "


In general, the availability of private expenditure data for heritage is significantly lower so that it will take several years, capacity building, and financial investment in order to increase coverage to an acceptable level. This indicator comprises public and private monetary investments in heritage. It does not measure non-monetary factors such as national regulations or national/local policies for the preservation, protection and conservation of national cultural and/or natural heritage. These policies could take the form of fiscal incentives such as tax benefits for donations or sponsorship.


This indicator measures the per capita expenditure (public and private) in the preservation, protection and conservation of cultural and/or natural heritage over time. To monitor change over time of national efforts for the protection and safeguard of cultural and/or natural heritage. Using a per capita in PPP$ basis is useful for comparison between countries.

Types of disaggregation

By source of funding (public, private) By type of heritage (cultural, natural)