Poverty and social exclusion in Belgium 2014

Poverty figures derived from the EU-SILC survey

Statistics Belgium has just published the latest poverty figures. These data are derived from the EU-SILC survey (2014). This survey is conducted on an annual basis in approximately 6,000 households and collects information on their income and living conditions in a broad sense. This instrument is mainly intended to trace the evolution of poverty and is harmonised at European level. In 2014 the monetary poverty rate stood at about 15%, while 21% of the Belgian population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

In 2014, 15% of the Belgian population was considered as a group at risk of monetary poverty. These persons live in households where the total disposable income is below €1,085 per month for a single person. For households with two adults and two children, the poverty threshold is set at €2,279. Certain population groups face a higher risk of poverty, in particular members of single-parent families (36%) and unemployed persons (43%).

Besides monetary poverty, 6% of the population experienced severe material deprivation and 15% of people under 60 years of age lived in households with low work intensity.

The persons facing one of these three risks (monetary poverty, severe material deprivation or low work intensity) are considered as a population group at risk of poverty or social exclusion according to the European poverty indicator of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

In 2014, 21% of the Belgian population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Given the definition of this indicator, unemployed and other inactive persons face a higher risk than other population groups (respectively 63% and 45%). Members of single-parent families are also at greater risk (51%).


Press release type:Statistics - Labour market and Living conditions , Statistics press releases
date: 06 January 2016