Material and social deprivation

New Material and social deprivation (EU-SILC) indicator measures 13 aspects

Households
New Material and social deprivation (EU-SILC) indicator measures 13 aspects

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%

 

 

SMSD
Content

Percentage of the population in a situation of severely material and social deprivation (SMSD)

Severe material and social deprivation - Belgium 2019 2020 2021
Total 6.3% 6.7% 6.3%
Per region
Brussels-Capital Region 13.7% 13.5% 11.5%
Flemish Region 3.6% 3.9% 4.4%
Walloon Region 8.6% 9.5% 8.0%
Per gender
Men 6.2% 6.5% 6.2%
Women 6.4% 6.9% 6.4%
Per age group
0-17 8.4% 8.1% 8.6%
18-24 4.9% 5.8% 4.7%
25-49 6.3% 7.0% 6.6%
50-64 7.2% 7.5% 6.8%
65+ 3.1% 4.0% 3.0%
Per household type
1 adult with child(ren) 17.2% 19.3% 16.9%
2 adults with child(ren) 5.0% 5.2% 5.6%
2 adults without children, at least one 64+ 2.0% 2.1% 2.5%
2 adults without children, < 65 4.2% 4.9% 3.4%
Single 11.1% 11.6% 9.6%
Other 4.4% 4.7% 4.2%
MSD
Content

Percentage of the population in a situation of material and social deprivation (MSD)

Material and social deprivation - Belgium 2019 2020 2021
Total 11.0% 11.0% 10.2%
Per region
Brussels-Capital Region 21.2% 20.5% 17.2%
Flemish Region 6.5% 6.6% 6.7%
Walloon Region 15.9% 15.8% 14.1%
Per gender
Men 10.8% 10.6% 9.9%
Women 11.3% 11.5% 10.4%
Per age group
0-17 13.1% 11.9% 12.1%
18-24 8.5% 10.4% 9.9%
25-49 11.4% 11.4% 10.6%
50-64 12.7% 13.2% 11.4%
65+ 7.0% 7.2% 5.9%
Per household type
1 adult with child(ren) 29.7% 28.6% 24.6%
2 adults with child(ren) 8.6% 9.2% 9.2%
2 adults without children, at least one 64+ 4.9% 4.4% 4.4%
2 adults without children, < 65 8.6% 7.5% 5.5%
Single 18.4% 18.7% 15.8%
Other 7.6% 7.6% 7.5%

Purpose and brief description

"EU-SILC" (European Union - Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) is a European survey on income and living conditions and an important tool to map poverty and social exclusion at Belgian and European level.

In Belgium, the EU-SILC survey is organised by Statbel. Every year, about 6,000 households (or 11,000 people) are surveyed and followed up for a maximum of four consecutive years. In the SILC survey, social exclusion is regarded as the result of several factors such as income, employment, health and education level.

Population

Private households

Data collection method and sample size

CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview) - Due to COVID-19 situation, temporary switch to CATI (Compter Assisted Telephone Interview).

Respons

± 60% (N= ± 7000 households).

Frequency

Annually.

Timing publication

First quarter after survey year

Questionaires

Definitions

Calculation of the monetary poverty risk (AROP)

The poverty threshold is set at 60 % of the median disposable income at individual level. It is calculated as follows: 60 % of 22,784 euros per year equals to a threshold of 13,670 euros per year or 1,139 euros per month for a single person. For households, this threshold is not simply multiplied by the number of household members. Considering that household members share costs and expenditures, a factor of 0.5 is applied to a second adult in a household in the calculation of the poverty threshold, and a factor of only 0.3 is applied to children (<14 years). The poverty threshold for a household consisting of two adults and two children is therefore obtained by multiplying the threshold of single people by a factor of 2.1 [(€13,670 *2.1)/12 = €2,392 per month]. This factor of 2.1 is calculated by assigning a weight of 1 to the head of the household, of 0.5 to the second adult of the household and of 0.3 to each child.

Households with low work intensity (LWI)

These are the households where adults (aged 18 to 59, excluding students) have worked on average less than one fifth of the time during the reference year.

Material deprivation (SMD): details of the indicator

People considered as "severely materially deprived" are confronted with at least four of the nine following situations: they cannot afford to pay rent or utility bills, to keep their home adequately warm, to face unexpected expenses, to eat meat, fish or a protein equivalent every second day, to go on a one-week holiday away from home, to have a car, a washing machine, a colour TV or a telephone.

European poverty indicator: AROPE (At Risk of Poverty or Social Exclusion)

This indicator is derived from the three indicators mentioned above (AROP, LWI, SMD). If one or more of the conditions are met, i.e. if the household in which the person lives is characterised by low income and/or low work intensity and/or severe material deprivation, that person is considered at risk of poverty and/or social exclusion (multidimensional poverty).

More definitions...

Comments

Legislation

EU-SILC 2004 to 2020 was implemented under a framework regulation, mandatory for all EU Member States: REGULATION (EC) No 1177/2003 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 16 June 2003 concerning Community statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC)

From SILC 2021 onwards there is the REGULATION (EU) 2019/1700 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL. This framework regulation for integrated European Social Statistics (IESS) and the underlying implementing regulations for EU-SILC constitute the new legal framework. The development of the statistical infrastructure under IESS is supported by European grants.

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