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The article Railway strikes test Macron’s reforms - French strikes states that "Mr Macron’s reform of SNCF is only part of a bigger effort to reshape the welfare state in a country where the public sector consumes 56% of GDP, the highest in the EU."

What country outside of the EU has the highest percentage of GDP in the public sector?

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The answer seems to be Kiribati, with a whooping 92%.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_spending#As_a_Percentage_of_GDP

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    $\begingroup$ As Kiribati has a 110,000 population only, I would say that the 2nd and 3d highest countries Cuba and Libya, that have a percentage of government spending at 67% i.e. two thirds of GDP, perhaps provide a more useful hint as to what the socio-economic structure may sustain. $\endgroup$ – Alecos Papadopoulos Apr 6 '18 at 11:07
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    $\begingroup$ In the case of Kiribati, GNI (gross national income) is much larger than GDP (see here. So expressing public spending as a % of GDP may be less meaningful than for most other countries. $\endgroup$ – Adam Bailey Apr 6 '18 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ Agree with the other two comments. $\endgroup$ – nathanwww Apr 6 '18 at 16:48
  • $\begingroup$ @nathanwww That's funny because Alecos's comment only has one upvote and that is mine. $\endgroup$ – Giskard Apr 6 '18 at 22:35
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Using the data in the wikipedia link provided by @denesp we have the following picture, based on (2014 I think) Public Spending as percentage of GDP. The first column is GDP percentage bands, the second is the number of countries that fall in each band, the third column is the relative frequency, and the fourth the cumulative relative frequency. Total number of countries is $180$.

\begin{array}{| r | r | r | r|} \hline \text{%GDP range} & \text {count} & \text{rel. freq} & \text{Cum. rel. freq} \\ \hline \hline 0-5 &0 & \text{0.0%} & \text{0.0%} \\ \hline 5-10 & 0 & \text{0.0%}& \text{0.0%} \\ \hline 10-15 & 0 & \text{0.0%} & \text{0.0%}\\ \hline 15-20 &18 & \text{10.0%} & \text{10.0%}\\ \hline 20-25 &26 &\text{14.4%} &\text{24.4%} \\ \hline 25-30 &31 &\text{17.2%} &\text{41.6%} \\ \hline 30-35 &26 &\text{14.4%} &\text{56.0%} \\ \hline 35-40 &29 &\text{16.1%} &\text{72.1%} \\ \hline 40-45 &17 &\text{9.4%} &\text{81.5%} \\ \hline 45-50 &16 &\text{8.9%} &\text{90.4%} \\ \hline 50-55 &9 &\text{5.0%} &\text{95.4%} \\ \hline 55-60 &3 &\text{1.7%} &\text{97.1%} \\ \hline 60-65 &1 &\text{0.6%} &\text{97.7%} \\ \hline 65-70 &3 &\text{1.7%} &\text{99.4%} \\ \hline 70-75 &0 &\text{0.0%} &\text{99.4%} \\ \hline 75-80 &0 &\text{0.0%} &\text{99.4%} \\ \hline 80-85 &0 &\text{0.0%} &\text{99.4%} \\ \hline 85-90 &0 &\text{0.0%} &\text{99.4%} \\ \hline 90-95 &1 &\text{0.6%} &\text{100.0%} \\ \hline 95-100 &0 &\text{0.0%} &\text{100.0%} \\ \hline \end{array}

The data support a Gamma distribution with shape paramater $k=7.87$ and scale parameter $\theta = 4.29$, for which we have, ($X=$ Pubic spending as GDP %):

enter image description here

$$E(X) = 33.76 ,\;\; SD(X) = 12.3, median \approx 32.3$$

The empirical median is $32$ GDP percentage points.

Note that $90$% of the countries (163 entities in all) are below $50$% public spending as GDP percentage.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting, but the answer does not respond to the question $\endgroup$ – nathanwww Apr 6 '18 at 16:47
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    $\begingroup$ @nathanwww Another post has already provided the very short answer needed by the question. My post is an attempt to turn this thread into something more interesting as content. $\endgroup$ – Alecos Papadopoulos Apr 6 '18 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ It's an interesting way to portray the question. I'm not sure about the data source though, since there is at least one country in the 10% range according to this website: theglobaleconomy.com/Somalia/Government_size, however, the same data does not appear available from the source they reference. $\endgroup$ – nathanwww Apr 6 '18 at 17:10

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