EU 28 member states spent €31,2 billion of government expenditure for `fire-protection services` in 2017, whilst almost 300,000 persons were employed as fire fighters in the European Union (EU).
This expenditure is equivalent to 0.4% of the total government expenditure, which is less than the amount spent on police services (expenditure equivalent to 2.0% of total expenditure in 2017) and law courts (0.7%), but similar to government expenditure on prisons (0.4%).
Overall, in the EU, the public expenditure on fire-protection services remained stable as a percentage of total expenditure since the beginning of the time series in 2004.
In 2017, the ratio of government fire-protection expenditure to total expenditure varied across EU Member States from 0.1% of the total expenditure in Denmark, 0.2% in Malta, 0.3% in Portugal, Luxembourg, Ireland and Austria, and 0.4% in Cyprus (and other 8 member states) to 0.6% in Greece, Netherlands, Croatia and Estonia, 0.7% in Latvia, Lithuania and Romania, and 0.8% in Bulgaria.
Fire-protection government expenditure per inhabitant was above €100 in four EU Member States in 2017: Luxembourg (€113 per inhabitant), Finland (€106), the Netherlands (€104) and Sweden (€100), closely followed by Germany (€96) and France (€93).
In contrast, the lowest fire-protection expenditure per head was recorded in Malta (€17 per inhabitant), followed by Bulgaria (€21), Croatia and Portugal (both €22), Poland (€23), Romania (€24) and Slovakia (€26). The same cost in Greece was close to €46,5 and in Cyprus close to €34.