Paul L. Caron

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Total Tax Ratio as Percentage of GDP, 2008

OECD, Revenue Statistics 1965-2008 (2009 ed.):

The overall tax-to-GDP ratio in OECD countries was 35.8% in 2007, the latest year for which complete figures are available. ... Out of 26 OECD countries that have provided provisional figures for 2008, tax-to-GDP ratios fell in 17 and rose in 9. ... Denmark has the highest tax-to-GDP ratio among OECD countries in 2008 (48.3%), closely followed by Sweden (47.1%). ...  Mexico and Turkey have the lowest tax-to-GDP ratios among OECD countries. Mexico collected taxes equivalent to 21.1% of GDP in 2008 ... Turkey’s tax-to-GDP ratio was 23.5% in 2008.

OECD Chart

Gov't Reports, Tax | Permalink

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Its not clear from the link whether this graph includes taxes paid by Americans to non-Federal authorities. For example, VAT is collected at the national level in Europe but sales tax is a local tax here. Plus, much of the services provided by the nation of Denmark et al are provided here by U.S. states & local agencies (welfare, UI, Medical).

If U.S. state & local taxes are not factored in, its a useless chart from a U.S. perspective. Its very hard to compare apples to apples in tax regimes, which is why most of these charts are too flawed to be useful.

Posted by: guy in the veal calf office | Dec 8, 2009 4:03:20 PM

Interesting to note that the same OECD ranks Denmark #1 in terms of its nationals' satisfaction with life.

Posted by: Sheila Hard | Dec 6, 2009 11:22:46 AM