Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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UCLG & Global Taskforce

UCLG - 23.11.2016

New study: all the latest numbers on local finance worldwide
Our global organisation - UCLG, the OECD and the AFD have published a fascinating study on the structures and finances of local and regional governments worldwide.

In “Subnational governments around the world: Structure and finance”, you will find a wealth of information on the state of play of local finances in subnational governments in Europe and beyond.

This 300-page study is both very clear and detailed, with fact sheets on subnational governments in every country, as well as infographics, charts and analyses on topics ranging from government spending to investment, revenue and debt. It is the first time that such a study with a global vision has been conducted.

Did you know?
  • In terms of % of GDP, Canada has the highest subnational government expenditure worldwide.
  • The average number of inhabitants in a municipality is 56,000.
  • Subnational governments account for around one quarter of total government spending on average.
  • Education alone amounts to over one-fifth of subnational government spending.
  • Subnational government investment is particularly large in federal countries, accounting for 63.1% of public investment (close to 90% in Belgium and Canada), against about 33.9% in unitary countries.

Through the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data on an unprecedented scale, this study attempts to give the tools to answer all questions you may have with a global outlook.

CEMR also published a similar study earlier this year, revealing all the latest numbers on Europe’s towns and regions: “Local and Regional Governments in Europe – Structures and Competences”.


This publication was launched at the UCLG Summit in Bogota in October 2016, and serves as the first building block of the Global Observatory of Local Finances. The Observatory aims to “ensure a non-normative monitoring of local governments’ ability to implement, from a financial perspective, the tasks that have been entrusted to them by law”.


Martin Revault
Attaché to the Secretary General

Email :
Tel : +32 2 500 05 30
Skype : martin.revault_2
About UCLG: United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is our global organisation, representing over 240,000 towns and regions, 175 local government associations, and 5 billion people worldwide. UCLG defends the voice of local governments on the global stage.
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