Annual government spending per person varies widely

by Tim Strawson

CAPE conference PNG

ODI’s annual CAPE conference this week will focus on budgeting in the real world. In the Investments to End Poverty report, we mapped out the resources available to developing countries. This chart highlights one of the most striking findings, the variation in government spending per person [1] across developing countries in 2011.

Average spending per person across developing countries is PPP$1,360, less than 10% of the average PPP$15,025 that DAC donor countries spend on each of their citizens every year. Yet government resources in many countries are significantly lower still. 3 billion people (including 82% of the world’s $1.25 a day poor) live in countries where expenditure is less than PPP$1,000 per person. 1 billion of these people live in countries where it is less than PPP$500.

As a greater emphasis for financing the post-2015 agenda is placed on domestic resources, we must understand the landscape of resources available as well as the processes and constraints on government budgeting, and the challenges faced in reform and scaling up service provision. The CAPE conference presents a timely opportunity to explore these issues in detail.

You can download the data here in  Excel, Open document and CSV format.

[1] General budget support ODA and loan disbursements to the public sector are subtracted from total government expenditure in order to avoid double counting against international resources – see chapter 2, Mapping resources to end poverty in the Investments to end poverty report for details.