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German state budget: budget structure, items of income and expenses, budget allocation by major items

This page contains information on the German federal budget, the critical income and expenditure items, the country's budget structure shown numerically as of 2021.

§ Information on the federal budget of Germany

The German state budget is the country's financial plan for the year to come or for the next few years at once. The draft budget of the country is prepared by the German Ministry of Finance (the List of German Federal Ministries) then this draft is discussed by the Federal Government and, after its adoption, it is submitted to the Bundestag for consideration. After consideration and adoption of the draft budget by voting, the budget plan is submitted to the Bundesrat, the Federal Council. After the adoption of the budget by the Bundesrat and its signing by the President of Germany, the draft budget becomes the law of the country.

The state budget consists of the incomes and expenditures general plan, as well as of several plans for each Federal Ministry; it contains approximately 2500 pages.

The Bundestag also performs the function of controlling the federal budget; they analyze whether the Government adheres to the budget. In fulfilling this function, the Bundestag closely cooperates with the Federal Court of Auditors, aka the Federal Audit Office (in German: Bundesrechnungshof).

As of 2021, the German federal budget amounted to 498.6 billion euros.

Table 1. The federal budget of Germany
as of 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

Year Amount, euros Difference YoY, euros
2015 year299'100'000'000-
2016 year316'900'000'00017'800'000'000
2017 year329'100'000'00012'200'000'000
2018 year343'600'000'00014'500'000'000
2019 year356'400'000'00012'800'000'000
2020 year362'000'000'0005'600'000'000
2021 year498'620'000'000136'620'000'000

Chart 1. Changes in the German federal budget volume from 2015 to 2021.

§ German state budget structure

The German federal state budget is a country's law containing more than 2,500 pages, its structure includes a budget summary distributed among the country's Federal Ministries and the supreme authorities in the country (including the state debt and general financial administration, i.e. tax revenues). Besides the budget summary, the state budget consists of many individual plans, classified or structured by functions and groups of incomes and expenditures. Table 2 below shows the budget incomes and expenditures distribution among the Federal Ministries and authorities. In the further sections below on this page, you can view the German budget structure by group and function.

In the detailed budget table, each line has its own digital code, which consists of the 4 components that follow:

Table 2. The federal budget of Germany
as of 2021 by Ministry and Department (Einzelpläne)

Budget item Income,
million euros
million euros and as %
Federal President and the Office of the Federal President
Bundespräsident und Bundespräsidialamt
0.19 44.65 0.01%
Bundestag, the German Federal Parliament
Deutscher Bundestag
1.78 1'059.76 0.21%
Bundesrat , the Federal Council of Germany
0.09 41.19 0.01%
Federal Government and the Chancellor of Germany
Bundeskanzlerin und Bundeskanzleramt
3.50 3'652.41 0.73%
Foreign Office
Auswärtiges Amt
200.79 6'301.73 1.26%
Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community
Bundesministerium des Innern, für Bau und Heimat
1'195.62 18'457.71 3.70%
Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection
Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz
624.78 957.46 0.19%
Ministry of Finance
Bundesministerium der Finanzen
620.45 8'742.34 1.75%
Ministry of Economics and Energy
Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie
465.10 10'433.53 2.09%
Ministry of Food and Agriculture
Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft
80.38 7'676.08 1.54%
Ministry for Employment and Social Affairs
Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales
1'813.31 164'920.48 33.08%
Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur
8'085.38 41'154.47 8.25%
Ministry of Defense
Bundesministerium der Verteidigung
260.80 46'930.01 9.41%
Ministry for Health
Bundesministerium für Gesundheit
102.69 35'299.02 7.08%
Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety
Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit
852.98 2'657.06 0.53%
Ministry of Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend
199.05 13'128.09 2.63%
Constitutional Court of Germany
0.04 37.17 0.01%
Federal Court of Auditors, aka the Federal Audit Office
3.93 168.88 0.03%
Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information
Der Bundesbeauftragte für den Datenschutz und die Informationsfreiheit
0.09 31.54 0.01%
Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung
802.53 12'425.68 2.49%
Ministry of Education and Research
Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
40.28 20'799.43 4.17%
State debt
180'921.28 10'793.60 2.16%
General Financial Administration
Allgemeine Finanzverwaltung
302'344.99 92'907.72 18.63%
TOTAL: 498'620.00 498'620.00 100.00%

§ Expenditures, the German budget allocation

You can view the state budget expenditures allocation among the Federal Ministries and Departments in Table 2, offered above on the page. Given that the country's 2021 budget amounted to 498.6 billion euros, on average, Germany's spending per 1 day was 1.4 billion euros, while Germany's spending per 1 month was 41.6 billion euros.

Table 3 below shows the country's budget expenditures by type of expenditure.

Table 3. The German budget expenditures
as of 2021 by type of expenditure

Type of expenditure Expenditure
million euros
As % of the budget amount
Non-personnel administrative expenditure
Sächliche Verwaltungsausgaben
10'356.50 2.08 %
Allocations and grants (excluding investments)
Zuweisungen und Zuschüsse (ohne Investitionen)
185'037.12 37.11 %
Special-purpose financing expenditures
Besondere Finanzierungsausgaben
205'675.37 41.25 %
30'833.71 6.18 %
Personnel expenditure
8'884.66 1.78 %
Expenditure on investments
Ausgaben für Investitionen
36'478.28 7.32 %
Military procurements, investments, etc.
Militärische Beschaffungen, Anlagen usw.
15'573.35 3.12 %
Servicing (redemption) of the national debt
5'781.02 1.16 %
TOTAL: 498'620.00 100.00 %

Chart 2 below shows the German budget allocation among the Ministries and Departments; the data for the chart are taken from Table 2, offered above on the page.

Chart 2. Pattern of expenditure of the 2021 German budget by Ministry

§ Revenues, the German budget income

You can view the sources of the German budget revenues by Federal Ministry and Department in Table 2 offered above on the page. Table 4 below shows the country's budget revenues by type of income, sorted by the income figures in ascending order.

Table 4. The German budget income
as of 2021 by type of income

Type of income Income
million euros
As % of the budget amount
The EU own resources
-37'710.00 -7.56 %
Taxes, tax equivalent payments and other contributions
Steuern und steuerähnliche Abgaben
236.00 0.05 %
937.94 0.19 %
Administrative income
11'960.77 2.40 %
Federal taxes
77'125.00 15.47 %
Miscellaneous income
Übrige Einnahmen
192'691.29 38.64 %
Community taxes and business tax levy; taxes allocated among the Federation,federated states and minicipalities
Gemeinschaftsteuern und Gewerbesteuerumlage
253'379.00 50.82 %
TOTAL: 498'620.00 100.00 %

Chart 3 below shows the German budget income by Ministry and Department; the data for the chart are taken from Table 2, offered above on the page. According to this chart, the vast majority of Germany's incomes are derived from taxes; in the budget, they are defined by the line “General Financial Administration” (in German: Allgemeine Finanzverwaltung).

Chart 3. Pattern of income of the 2021 German budget by Ministry

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Germany budget: structure, income and expenses