News Releases

In-Nefqa fuq il-Ħarsien Soċjali: 2021
Data tal-Ħruġ: 17 taʼ April 2023
  • Fl-2021, in-nefqa kollha fuq il-Ħarsien Soċjali laħqet €2,721.2 miljuni, li huma żjieda taʼ €120.0 miljun jew 4.6 fil-mija fuq l-2020.
  • L-akbar żjidiet kienu fuq l-Isptarijiet u Faċilitajiet Oħra tal-Kura tas-Saħħa (€69.0 miljun) u l-Benefiċċji Kontributorji tas-Sigurtà Soċjali (€50.7 miljuni).
  • Il-Benefiċċji tax-Xjuħija u l-benefiċċji tal-Mard/Kura tas-Saħħa kienu jgħoddu 69.5 fil-mija tan-nefqa kollha.
  • Fl-2021, 56.6 fil-mija tal-Ħarsien Soċjali kien mogħti fl-għamla taʼ flus li ma kinux suġġetti għat-test tal-mezzi.
In-Nefqa fuq il-Ħarsien Soċjali: 2021
Data tal-Ħruġ: 17 taʼ April 2023
During 2021, social protection outlay totalled €2,721.2 million, a 4.6 per cent increase from the previous year.

In 2021, social protection expenditure rose by €120.0 million from the €2,601.3 million reported in 2020. As a percentage of GDP, social protection amounted to 18.1 per cent. This reflected a drop of 1.6 percentage points when compared to the previous year, following higher GDP growth during the same period.

Higher social outlay was reported for thirteen of Malta’s nineteen schemes. The largest increase was witnessed under Hospitals and Other Health Care Facilities (€69.0 million), followed by Social Security Contributory Benefits (€50.7 million) and Sickness Days – Employers’ Expenditure (€29.4 million). From the remaining six schemes, the highest decline was recorded under the COVID-19 Support Measures (€64.1 million) (Table 1).

When categorised according to the European System of integrated Social Protection Statistics’ (ESSPROS) eight functions (refer to methodological note 3), total social outlay ranged from over one billion in Old Age benefits to €20.6 million in Housing measures. In comparison to 2020, increases were reported under seven functions, with the largest rise of €98.3 million registered under Sickness/Health Care. Increased expenditure was also reported under Old Age (€56.3 million), Family/Children (€19.2 million), Survivors (€4.9 million), Disability (€4.4 million), Social exclusion not elsewhere classified (n.e.c.) (4.0 million) and Housing (€1.3 million). A €68.6 million drop under the Unemployment function, following the lower outlay towards COVID-19 social measures, partially offset the rise in social expenses (Table 2).

Chart 1. Social gross expenditure by ESSPROS function

Reference period: 2012-2021

No Data Found

Chart 2. Social gross expenditure by ESSPROS function as a percentage of GDP

Reference period: 2012-2021

No Data Found

The majority (60.8 per cent) of social expenditure was provided in the form of cash payments, with the remaining 39.2 per cent administered through goods and services. Non means-tested benefits amounted to €2,536.9 million, 93.2 per cent of the total, of which 60.7 per cent were cash benefits. Similarly, means-tested benefits were predominantly given through cash benefits (62.2 per cent) (Table 3).

Chart 3. Social Protection Expenditure by type and means-testing

Reference year: 2021

No Data Found

Additional Tables and Charts

Methodological Notes

1. Social Protection Expenditure data published in this release is compiled in line with the European System of integrated Social Protection Statistics (ESSPROS) Manual 2022 edition as issued by Eurostat.
2. Expenditure data reported is largely collected from various administrative sources, including:
i. Department of Social Security;
ii. Treasury Department;
iii. Jobsplus;         
iv. Transport Malta;
v. Gozo Channel Ltd.;
vi. The NSO’s National Accounts Methods, Standards and Sector Accounts Unit;
vii. Housing Authority;
viii. Foundation for Social Welfare Services;
ix. Malta Enterprise.
3. In each scheme, social benefits are then further categorised into eight functions, together accounting for all the social risks faced by society. These functions are defined in the ESSPROS manual (Part 1, Article 110) as follows:

i. Sickness/Health care: Income maintenance and support in cash in connection with physical or mental illness, excluding disability. Health care intended to maintain, restore or improve the health of the people protected irrespective of the origin of the disorder.

ii. Disability: Income maintenance and support in cash or kind (except health care) in connection with the inability of physically or mentally disabled people to engage in economic and social activities.

iii. Old Age: Income maintenance and support in cash or kind (except health care) in connection with old age.

iv. Survivors: Income maintenance and support in cash or kind in connection with the death of a family member.

v. Family/Children: Support in cash or kind (except health care) in connection with the costs of pregnancy, childbirth and adoption, bringing up children and caring for other family members.

vi. Unemployment: Income maintenance and support in cash or kind in connection with unemployment.

vii. Housing: Help towards the cost of housing.

viii. Social exclusion not elsewhere classified (n.e.c.): Benefits in cash or kind (except health care) specifically intended to combat social exclusion that are not covered by one of the other functions.

4. Social benefits are grouped into schemes, a unit specifically defined in the ESSPROS manual (Part 1, Article 35) as a “distinct body of rules, supported by one or more institutional units, governing the provision of social benefits and their financing.” Schemes are chosen in such a way that they provide protection against a single risk or need, being aimed at a single specific group of beneficiaries. Furthermore, schemes should also meet the criteria that one is able to report a separate account of receipts and expenditures.
5. Sick leave covered by the employer during the first three days of absence is estimated based on the number of sick/injury hours per capita extracted from the Labour Cost Survey (LCS). Data collection through the survey began in 2008 and is performed every four years by the NSO’s Labour Market and Information Society Unit. For the years in between, a combination of linear interpolation and forecasting techniques are used to estimate the comparative sick/injury hours per capita.
6. Definitions:
i. Benefits in kind: Social benefits provided through goods and/or services.
ii. Cash benefits: Social benefits paid in cash either periodically at regular intervals (for example, payments are made every four weeks) or as one single payment in the form of a lump-sum. The general scope of these benefits may be as a replacement for previously earned income, as is the scope of pensions, or as a supplement to one’s annual income, for example Children’s Allowance.
iii. Gross domestic product (GDP): The total output (at current market prices) produced within a country during a reference period.
iv. Means-tested social benefits: Social benefits explicitly or implicitly conditional on the beneficiary’s income and/or wealth falling below a specified threshold. These benefits are generally targeted towards low-income households.
v. Social protection: All interventions from public or private bodies intended to relieve households and individuals of the burden of a defined set of risks or needs, provided that there is neither a simultaneous reciprocal nor an individual arrangement involved.
7. Social protection accounts are largely harmonised with National Accounts’ publications and form an integral part of the workings of the macro-economic framework for the calculation of GDP in terms of the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010). ESA 2010 is an internationally compatible accounting framework for a systematic and detailed description of a total economy, its components and its relations with other total economies.
8. Data in this release is subject to revisions, principally due to National Accounts backward revisions.
9. More information relating to this news release may be accessed at:
The data in this release presents a continuation of last year’s publication through the incorporation of 2021 expenditure. For further information on Malta’s schemes, together with any additional methodological notes, one should refer to the Annexes of the publication. The next Social Protection publication is scheduled for 2024.
For further information on benefits reported in the Social Security Contributory and Non-Contributory Benefits schemes.
10. References to this news release are to be cited appropriately.
11. Statistics in this news release should be interpreted in the context of the COVID-19 situation.
12. A detailed news release calendar is available online.
Social protection 2023 Final-01-01
Kalkulatur tal-Inflazzjoni Kalendarju tal-Istqarrijiet tal-Aħbarijiet Talbiet għat-Tagħrif Mistoqsijiet dwar il-Kodiċi tan-NACE
Skip to content