ISTAT has made available estimates of General Government expenditure at current prices by function for 1990-2009.
The classification of government expenditure by function used in national accounts refers to the COFOG classification, which is structured in three levels of analysis: the first level is comprised of ten divisions, each subdivided into groups, which are in turn broken down into classes. Expenditures broken down by measures and services of a collective nature are the subject of the first six divisions, while those of an individual nature are included in the rest of the divisions.
To simplify analysis of expenditure by function, the ten first-level groupings as provided for by the COFOG classification have been aggregated into six items:
1. Traditional functions (general public services, defence, public order and safety);
2. Economic affairs (agriculture, manufacturing, transport, communications, etc.);
3. Environment protection, housing and community amenities;
5. Recreation, culture and education;
6. Social protection (welfare and assistance)