More than one in five Belgians cannot afford a holiday
More than one in five Belgians cannot afford at least one week's holiday away from home (20.3%). In Wallonia and Brussels, this concerns about one third of the population (30.6% and 28.2%), in Flanders 13.2%.
These are the first results of the survey on income and living conditions in 2021 (EU-SILC). In this first publication, Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, focuses on the material and social situation of Belgians. More than 7,500 households were questioned about what expenses they can afford and about their social contacts. 6.3% of the Belgian population is faced with a situation of severe material and social deprivation.
New indicator measures 13 aspects
From now on, severe material and social deprivation will be measured using a new European indicator ('severe material and social deprivation' or SMSD). 13 material possessions or social actions are measured. Those who cannot afford 7 of those aspects for financial reasons are called 'severely material and socially deprived'. In 2021, 6.3% of the Belgian population was in this situation. In the Brussels-Capital Region, 11.5% of the population were severely materially and socially deprived, while in the Walloon Region it was 8% and in the Flemish Region 4.4%.
|Inability to ...||Belgium||Brussels-Capital Region||Flemish region||Walloon region|
|pay the bills as scheduled||4.2%||7.6%||2.6%||6.1%|
|afford one week's holiday away from home every year||20.3%||28.2%||13.2%||30.6%|
|afford a meal with meat, chicken or fish at least every second day||3.7%||8.9%||1.4%||5.9%|
|face an unexpected financial expense||22.3%||35.7%||14.0%||32.9%|
|buy a car||5.8%||17.4%||3.9%||5.3%|
|keep their home adequately warm (for financial reasons)||3.5%||5.6%||1.9%||5.8%|
|replace damaged or worn out furniture||14.4%||22.3%||10.0%||19.6%|
|replace worn out or old-fashioned clothes by new ones||8.6%||14.8%||6.4%||10.6%|
|have two pairs of shoes (including a pair of all-weather shoes)||3.2%||3.2%||2.7%||4.2%|
|afford an Internet connection at home||1.8%||2.0%||1.5%||2.2%|
|get together with friends/family (relatives) for a drink/meal at least once a month||9.2%||14.7%||7.1%||11.2%|
|regularly participate in a leisure activity such as sport, cinema, concert, etc.||11.1%||16.5%||8.5%||14.1%|
|spend a small amount of money each week on yourself||11.9%||18.9%||7.3%||17.9%|
|SMSD - Severe material and social deprivation (7 items out of 13)||6.3%||11.5%||4.4%||8.0%|
|MSD - Material and social deprivation (5 items out of 13)||10.2%||17.2%||6.7%||14.1%|