Expenditure on disabled people

Expenditures on people with disability comprises of both benefits in cash, such as various disability pensions, and benefits in kind. Benefits in kind comprises of accommodation and assistance in carrying out daily tasks. The data consists of both the actual expenditure and the financing thereof by public authorities, employers, employees, and others.
Depending on national policies there is a difference between the Nordic countries on how much of the financing is transferred to funding of this policy area.

Social expenditure on people with disability

In some of Nordic countries the cash benefits to people with disability is a major part of the total expenditure on this policy area. And in others it is more alike between the forms of expenditure.

The available data on expenditure as percent of GDP, indicate that the rate of expenditure have been shifting in some of the countries, but in recent years it has increased in Denmark, Norway, and Iceland, whereas it has decreased in both Finland and Sweden in the same period.

In Iceland and Norway there is an increase in 2020, but this might also be due to the reduction in GDP for that particular year, as an effect of Covid-19.

Changes in expenditure since 2010

Since 2010 the development in expenditure on cash benefits has been very different across the Nordic countries. The highest level of expenditure is in Norway and the lowest in Sweden. The Norwegian figures show that the development has been almost constant since 2010, whereas there has been a slight increase in Iceland and Denmark in the same period. Contrary to that, the level of expenditure on cash benefits in Finland and Sweden has been decreasing throughout the period.

In most of the Nordic countries the expenditure on benefits in kind for people with disabilities is lower than the level of expenditure on cash benefits, except for Sweden. The level of expenditure in Denmark is the second highest among the Nordic countries, and the level is almost identical in Finland, Iceland, and Norway.

Since 2010, the level of expenditure has been almost constant across all Nordic countries.

Source of financing

The data on expenditure consists also of sources of financing. The financing of social expenditure comes from several sources such as public authorities, employers, employees, and others.

Due to differences in national policies, there is quite a difference in the ways that expenditure on people with disability is financed in the Nordic countries.

Financing by public authorities exist in all countries but is at a much higher level in Denmark compared to other Nordic countries. The financing by public authorities have increased in alle countries since 2010.

The level of financing by employers is about the same as the financing of public authorities in most of the Nordic countries, except for Denmark.

The level of financing has been the same in Norway and Denmark since 2010, but it has increased in Iceland.

In Finland and Sweden, the level of financing has decrease in the same period, and both countries are at the same level as Denmark according to the available data.

Transfers and the building of funds

If national policies allow for a structure of funding to secure a benefit, the sum of financing will often be higher than the total expenditure any given year.

In Nordic countries that rely on taxation to finance a benefit area, there is often no transfers to or from funding. On the other hand, the transfers to or from funding can be substantial in cases, where a country rely on funding to secure future expenditure.

The level of transfers is derived from the calculation of the sum of all financing subtracted the total expenditure. If the result is positive, it indicates a profit and therefore a transfer to funding purposes. However, if the transfer is negative, the deficit indicates that the expenditure has been supplemented by funding.

In most Nordic countries there are some forms of transfer to funding targeting expenditure on old age, but the levels are very different. The level of transfers in Norway are almost insignificant, and at a value of less than 1 PPS pr. Capita. On the other hand, the Icelandic figures looks to be periodically very high.