Revision 14 June 2019
The EU-SILC survey, organised by Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, has delivered its first results on the evolution of poverty in Belgium in 2018.
- In 2018, 5 % of the population was faced with a situation of severe material deprivation in Belgium;
- Going on holidays or being able to face unforeseen expenditures is impossible for almost a quarter of Belgians;
- One person out of ten deprives himself/herself of leisure activities or social contact for financial reasons;
- In total, 19 % of Belgians report having difficulties to make ends meet.
These provisional results are the first indicators available on poverty in Belgium in 2018 from the SILC survey and will be supplemented in the coming months with the monetary indicators.
Five Belgians out of 100 are in a situation of severe material deprivation
Material deprivation prevents people from affording an adequate standard of living. In other words, this indicator does not analyse the financial situation of individuals, but rather what they can(not) afford with the available financial means. The EU-SILC survey measures material deprivation using nine elements relating to the deprivation of material goods and the inability to carry out certain actions that symbolise the average standard of living in our society. A person is in a situation of severe material deprivation (SMD) when at least four deprivation elements (described in table 1) are applicable. In 2018, 5 % of the population was in a situation of severe material deprivation in Belgium.
Table 1: elements of the material deprivation indicator
|Percentage of people living in a household that cannot financially afford:||2018|
|to pay bills on time (rent, water, electricity, etc.)||6,2%|
|to take every year one week’s holiday away from home||23,2%|
|to eat a meal with meat, chicken, fish or vegetarian equivalent at least every second day||5,2%|
|to face unexpected financial expenses||24,1%|
|to own a telephone||0,2%|
|to own a colour television||0,7%|
|to own a washing machine||1,1%|
|to own a car||5,8%|
|to keep the home adequately warm||5,2%|
|% of people deprived of at least 4 of the 9 items above who are therefore in a "situation of severe material deprivation"||4,9%|
 Are considered to be in a situation of severe material deprivation people living in a household that cannot afford four of the following items for financial reasons:
- paying bills on time,
- taking every year one week's holiday away from home,
- eating a meal with meat, chicken or fish at least every second day,
- facing an unexpected expense of 1,100 euros
- having a telephone,
- having a colour television,
- having a washing machine,
- having a car
- keeping the house adequately warm.
Are not considered to be in a situation of severe material deprivation people living in a household that can financially afford at least six of these items. Nevertheless, this means that they may not be able to afford up to three of these items.