Visualizing budget of Slovenia for 2010

Slovenian budget is a 12 billion euro monster that most citizens don’t understand or even have remote idea how it’s structured and where does their money go. As it turns out, people are just not good at taking abstract numbers to go into billions and understanding proportions and what it means to spend 50 million on one thing and 1 billion on something else.

That is what I’m trying to solve with this Visualization of budget of Slovenia for 2010. Show where the money is going as well as tell a story of a country that’s so much in debt that it would be a reason for panic if it happened to a person or a company. Yet we don’t seem to talk or address the issue that we’re 3.6 billion EUR short of making budget and that we have to borrow more money to pay our old debts.

(click on image for interactive version)

Income

Spending

(red is debt)

Lesson

Having access to experts or your own understanding of the data you’re trying to visualize is essential. In this case we had to reassemble budget since they form listing in a way that presents debt separately from the rest of the budget.

4 thoughts on “Visualizing budget of Slovenia for 2010

  1. kudos for doing this!
    the IT spending thing was kinda cute (to geeks mostly :), but this is important.

  2. I realy can NOT agre with you. Your skills as a computer wizard are impresive and that is why I fallow your blog but these representation shows a dramatic picture which is not true.

    Pleas don’t make the same poor judgment as the dreadful Slovenian jurnalists.

    I will not go into detailes, because it would be a long, boring post which nobody would reed….

  3. After reading the post I must agree with you. I did rant and ran away, so here is my explenation. I will try to make it as brief as possible.

    The visualisation is 100% correct and I hope it will find it’s way into mainstreem media – what I don’t agree with is the interpretation.In my opinion it is a bit misleading. The picture is not as dire as it seems regarding the debt (which you stressed) and a lot more problematic regarding the workforce and pensions.

    Slovenia is 8,3 bilion € in debt (http://www.stat.si/indikatorji.asp?ID=28), which may sound a lot but that is actually »only« 22,5 % of the GDP. That is not drastical compared to GB (68,5%), Germany (64,4%) or Italy (115 %). If you put it into terms that are more close to people… If you earn a net salery of 1000 €/month and you buy a new sports car you would be more in debt for a few years than any of the mentioned countrys. (imagine a real estate)

    IMHO the problem is in masive direct and indirect employment of the goverment which is payed for by the privet sector. These is a bit sketchy information but you will get the picture: http://www.stat.si/letopis/2009/12_09/12-01-09.htm

    Of around 2 mio people in Slovenia (2008) 712k people DON’T work at all. These are mainly children and elderly. Of those that do work 990k, 43k are unemployed, so we are left with 947k. And there are 157k (http://www.ajpes.si/doc/Statistike/Place/Porocila/Izplacane_place_javni_sektor_januar_2010.pdf) direct employes of the government (police, military, government bodys…). So the aproximete people working are 790k which have to earn for all the people which are just along for the ride.

    Conclusion: I know I have just stirred the pot and not made any good suggestion but discussing these topics on forums is at most unproductive (i have tryed many times). Economic topics are always to broad and there are always to many detailes to grasp the whole picture.

    The only correct way to handle it is to rent late at night with a cold bear because these topics get my blod boiling…. :)

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