Social spending, the leading public expenditure
In 2005, more than half (55.8%) of public spending was allocated to social protection. Central Government primarily finances defence, education, law and order, and public safety. Local government concentrates spending on community facilities, the environment, leisure and culture. The composition of public expenditure has slightly changed since 1995, with an increase in social spending. In 2003, measuring public expenditure as a percentage of GDP, France was in 4th place within the European Union of 25. The composition of French public spending is similar to that of other European countries.