Public expenditure on culture as a percentage of total public expenditure


Total funding from government (central, regional, local) on culture expressed as a percentage of total public expenditure for a given year.

Data source

At national level, ministries of finance, and/or ministries of culture, environment financial management systems are the source of government expenditure on culture. Data on expenditure by lower levels of government can be centralized or collected directly from local authorities.

Source definition

UNESCO Institute for statistics

Calculation method

The indicator is calculated by dividing total public funding in culture (i.e. including transfers paid but excluding transfers received) from government (central, regional, local) by the total expenditure of a country in a given year and multiply the results by 100.

Data required

Central, regional and local government expenditure data on culture; total public expenditure for a given year.


A higher value would indicate a greater priority to cultural activities given by public authorities.


One limitation of this indicator is that it is not able to take into account all cultural activities including those that are informal and unpaid.
In some instances data on total public expenditure on culture refers only to the Ministry of culture, excluding other ministries or other cultural institutions which may also spend a part of their budget on cultural activities.


This indicator measures the share of the public investment on cultural activities compared to the overall expenditure of a country over time. To monitor change over time of public efforts for the culture sector.

Types of disaggregation

By type of government (National/Federal, Regional /State/ Provincial, Local/Municipal)