Sweden tops tax league

The Swedish economy is the most tax-dependent of all the OECD countries, according to the organisation's latest report on national taxation.

Sweden is the only country where tax revenue accounts for more than half of gross domestic product. In 2004 50.7% of Sweden’s GDP came from tax revenue, up slightly from 50.6% the year before.

The next highest among the 30 OECD countries was Denmark, whose tax revenue accounted for 49.6% of revenue (up from 48.3%), then Belgium at 45.6% (up from 45.4%).

The ratio of total tax revenues to gross domestic product is widely used as a measure of the level of state involvement in domestic economies. Thirty years ago, the ratio in Sweden was considerably lower, at 42%, but by 2000 it had reached an all-time high among OECD countries of 53.9%.

Mexico is at the opposite end of the spectrum to Sweden, with tax revenues accounting for only 18.5% of GDP. Second lowest is Korea (24.6%) and in third place is the United States (25.6%).

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