The majority of public cultural expenditure in Spain comes from regional and local governments, which together represent 86.2% of public cultural spending (see Table 6). This shows the decentralised nature of the Spanish model in which territorial authorities are assumed to be mainly responsible for financing the cultural sector.
Total public culture expenditure per capita in 2016 was EUR 103.4. By levels of government, the per capita expenditure of the central government (in 2016) amounted to EUR 14.3, and that of the Autonomous Communities and local governments was EUR 22.7 and EUR 66.4 respectively.
The per capita figure varies widely from region to region. Using the liquidated regional expenditure on culture for 2016, the highest amount per capita allocated by an Autonomous Community was Navarre, at EUR 56.6, followed by the Basque Country (EUR 49.1), and Catalonia (EUR 35.9). At the lower extreme were the Canary Islands (EUR 7.3), Aragon (EUR 13.3) and Madrid (EUR 13.5).
In the period 2010-2016, the evolution of per capita public expenditure on culture has been negative, as a result of the economic crisis which has affected cultural budgets on all levels of government. Overall, the expenditure decreased in nominal terms by 30% (and 34.1% at constant prices for 2016). By levels of government, Autonomous Communities had the highest decrease (40.4% in nominal terms, which represents a decrease of 43.9% in real terms), followed by the central government (36.7% and 40.5%, respectively) and finally by the local government (23.7% and 28.2%, respectively). Public expenditure on culture accounted for approximately 0.43% of Spanish GDP in 2016. It has had a negative evolution since 2010 when public spending on culture accounted for 0.63% of GDP. Data on public spending on culture compared to the total public expenditure, which is only available by levels of government, accounted for 0.25 at the central government, 0.58 at the regional level and 4.59 at the local level. All levels of government have had a negative evolution during the period 2010-2016: local government had the highest decrease (0.70 points), followed by the Autonomous Communities (0.41 points) and finally by the central government (0.18 points).