POLICY BRIEF – No. 07/2023 - If the EU was a State in the United States: Comparing
3 August 2023
Between 2000 and 2019, the di昀昀erence in social spending as a share of GDP between the EU and the US went from 6 to 4 percentage points.13 At the same time the di昀昀erences in the Gini coe昀케cient between the EU and the US have been kept relatively stable over time.14 Similarly, and as it was mentioned earlier, other structural di昀昀erences between the EU and the US economy such as the amount of work. [...] In other words, if we rank the US and EU economies from the highest to the lowest GDP per capita, how many member states in Europe would be in the bottom part of the distribution? Figure 7 answers that question and shows that the proportion of EU member states that fall below the median, which is the sum of the 昀椀rst and second quartile, went up. [...] At the same time, the proportion of EU member states above the middle of the distribution, represented by the sum of the third and fourth quartiles, went down. [...] And even though the di昀昀erence in levels between the US and the EU-15 is smaller, the trend and the widening gap are very similar. [...] While the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and the EU performs better than the US in other areas that matter for the quality of life such as health, the gap in GDP per capita between the EU and the US has become too big to ignore.