17 October 2019: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, publishes today the results of the ad hoc module on well-being from the survey on income and living conditions (EU-SILC). The main findings are:
- Belgians report an average life satisfaction score of 7.6 out of 10 in 2018.
- The average score for the satisfaction with financial situation is 7.0.
- That same average score of 7.0 also applies to satisfaction with the time one can spend on leisure.
- The satisfaction with job gets an average score of 7.5.
- The satisfaction with personal relationships with friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc. gets an average score of 7.9 out of 10.
- These results are fully in line with those from the previous measurement in 2013. The most recent figures at European level date from 2013 and show that Belgium and our neighbouring countries are among the top ranking countries, just behind Scandinavian countries.
However, the results of the EU-SILC survey show large differences in well-being depending on the financial situation of Belgians. Belgians who are not at risk of monetary poverty feel clearly better about themselves than those whose financial situation is precarious.
13.1 % of Belgians not at risk of monetary poverty report a (very) high degree of social exclusion, compared to 23.6 % for those who are at risk of poverty. However, more than 80 % of the latter can rely on a social network of friends, acquaintances or neighbours to ask for material or non-material help (compared to more than 90 % for the first group). Furthermore, 14.1 % of the persons at risk of poverty feel most of the time or always lonely, compared to 5.1 % for Belgians who are not at risk of monetary poverty.
The emotional state of mind differs between Belgians depending on whether they are or not at risk of poverty. Indeed, 20.7 % of people at risk of poverty feel most of the time or always nervous, compared to 14.1 % for Belgians not at risk of poverty. The percentages of persons feeling down in the dumps are lower, but the gap remains: 11.7 % of people in a precarious financial situation feel most of the time or always down in the dumps, compared to 4.7 % for Belgians whose financial situation is better. The same goes for feeling calm and peaceful (51.5 % of people at risk of poverty answered “most of the time” or “always”, compared to 65.0 % for people not at risk of poverty) and feeling downhearted or depressed (14.4 % of people at risk of poverty answered “most of the time” or “always” compared to 5.7 % for those not at risk of poverty).
When they were asked if they were happy, 80.2 % of Belgians not at risk of poverty answered that it was most of the time or always the case. For those whose financial situation is precarious, the figure is only 55.8 %.