Average income in Belgium reached 19,671 euros in 2020
Fiscal statistics on income based on tax year 2021, income 2020
- In 2020, the net taxable income of Belgians amounted on average to 19,671 euros;
- The Flemish Region remains the region with the highest income;
- Brussels remains the region with the lowest average income;
- In 2020, Flemish Brabant was still the province with the highest average income per capita, followed by Walloon Brabant and East Flanders;
- At local level, Sint-Martens-Latem is the leading municipality in terms of average income per capita. It is 56.9 % above the Belgian average;
- The lowest average income can be found in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, where the income per capita is 46.3% below the national average.
- In 2020, there was a doubling in the total amount of unemployment benefits in Belgium.
Income refers to the net taxable income. These figures are calculated based on personal tax declarations and comprise the taxable income from professions, replacement income, pensions, dividends, the cadastral income and maintenance allowances. Untaxed income (such as child allowance and the subsistence wage) is not part of the tax income. The reference period of the data is still the income year 2020, so the tax year 2021. The fiscal statistics are established according to the taxpayer's place of residence.
1. Flemish people have the highest income; people from Brussels trail behind
In 2020, the average net taxable income per capita stood at 19,671 euros. A breakdown of this figure by region reveals that the income per capita is the highest in the Flemish Region. With 21,078 euros, the average income in Flanders is 7.2% above the national average. The inhabitants of the Walloon and Brussels-Capital Regions are considerably lagging behind financially. The average income in the Walloon Region is 5.9% below the Belgian average, whereas people from the Brussels-Capital Region made even 21.5% less on a yearly basis.
|Average income per capita (in EUR)|
|Table 1: Average income per capita, by region|
2. The two provinces of Brabant are the richest provinces
|Province||Average income per capita (in EUR)|
|Province of Flemish Brabant||22,836|
|Province of Walloon Brabant||22,482|
|Province of East Flanders||21,372|
|Province of West Flanders||20,619|
|Province of Antwerp||20,608|
|Province of Limburg||19,876|
|Province of Luxembourg||19,363|
|Province of Namur||19,205|
|Province of Liège||18,233|
|Province of Hainaut||17,118|
|Table 2: Average income per capita in the ten provinces and in the Brussels-Capital Region.|
As in previous years, Flemish Brabant was again in 2020 the province with the highest average income per capita, i.e. 22,836 euros per capita. With 22,482 euros, the average income per capita in the province of Walloon Brabant also exceeded the 22,000 euros mark. East Flanders completed the top three with an average annual income of 21,372 euros per capita.
3. Sint-Martens-Latem has the highest income; Saint-Josse-ten-Noode ranks last
With an average income of 30,859 euros per capita, Sint-Martens-Latem is the municipality with the highest income. A resident of this municipality has an income that is on average 56.9% higher than the national average.
|Municipality||Average income per capita (in EUR)||% above the national average|
|Table 3: The ten municipalities with the highest average income per capita|
Municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region are well represented at the other side of the scale. With an average of 10,564 euros, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode is the Belgian municipality with the lowest income. The average income of an inhabitant of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode is 46.3 % below the national average. With Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Anderlecht, Farciennes, Dison, Schaerbeek and Koekelberg, Belgium has six other municipalities where the average income per capita is at least 30% below the national average. Mesen, in West Flanders, is with an average of 15,501 euros the municipality with the lowest income in the Flemish Region.
|Municipality||Average income per capita (in EUR)||% below the national average|
|Table 4: The ten municipalities with the lowest average income per capita|
4. Increase in unemployment benefits in 2020
In the Covid year 2020, there was a sharp rise in unemployment benefits, which was due to the large number of workers receiving temporary unemployment benefits. There was a shift from earnings of employees and self-employed people to unemployment benefits.
|Income year||Total joint net professional income||% Income of self-employed people||% Wages of employees||% (Bridging) pensions||% Unemployment benefits||% Illness and disability benefits|
|Table 5: Components of the joint net professional income as % of total.|
The total amount of unemployment benefits in Belgium has more than doubled. The amount rose the most in the Flemish region: from 1.9 billion euros to 4.7 billion euros.
 The bridging pension was not included in unemployment benefits.
- Fiscal statistics by municipality (C. Number of declarations by class of total net taxable income, total net taxable income, average values, dispersion measures, asymmetry and tax by declaration type and by municipality)
- Fiscal statistics by statistical sector (D. Number of declarations, total net taxable income, average values, dispersion measures and asymmetry by statistical sector)
- A1. Structure of the total net taxable income by income class of €1000
- A2. Structure of the total net taxable income by income class of €2000
- A3. Distribution (%) of the main components of total net income by total net taxable income class of €5000
- B1. Decile distribution of total net taxable income, total tax and average tax rate
- B2. Components of the joint net professional income by decile as % of total
- B3. Number of declarations and total net taxable income by declaration type and decile
- B4. Number of declarations and total net taxable income by declaration type, age category and decile
- B5. Number of declarations and total net taxable income by declaration type and decile, according to the number of dependants
Purpose and brief description
Fiscal statistics on income subject to personal income tax. These statistics are compiled for each income year. The income year is the taxable period. The income received by the taxpayer in that year is subject to tax. The figures are available annually from income year 1976. The historical amounts in BEF (Belgian Franc) have all been converted with the conversion 40.3399 BEF = 1 euro ...
Physical persons subject to personal income tax
Results available 2 years after the reference period
((Official figure of the) residential population on 1 January: The residential population figure on 1 January is calculated on the basis of the number of people registered in the National Register of Natural Persons (RNPP) and includes all persons having their main residence in Belgium, including Belgians and foreigners admitted or authorised to settle or reside in the territory, but excluding foreigners residing in the territory for less than three months, asylum seekers and foreigners in an irregular situation.
Total net taxable income: The total net taxable income consists of all net income minus deductible expenses. The total amount of net income corresponds to the sum of all the net income from the various categories of income: income from real property, income and revenue from capital and movable property, professional income and other income.
Total number of declarations; number of declarations validly filed by all Belgian taxpayers.
Average net taxable income per declaration: The average net taxable income per declaration is the quotient of the total net taxable income and the total number of declarations. It is subject to the influence of outliers.
Median income per declaration: The median income per declaration is the income associated with the declaration that is in the middle of the series when declarations are classified by income. It is not influenced by outliers.
Tax year: The tax year is the year in which the tax declaration is filed. This is the year following the calendar year in which the income was earned (income year).
Income year: The income year is the year for which taxes are due.
Declaration type: A declaration may be filled in by one person (individual declaration) or two persons (joint declaration). The general rule is that everyone should complete an individual declaration, with the exception of people who are married or in legal cohabitation, They are asked to fill in a joint declaration form, except for the year in which they got married or became legal cohabitants and the year of their divorce or the termination of their legal cohabitation contract. For the year in which one of the partners died, the other partner may choose to fill in an individual or a joint declaration form. If no choice is made, the partners are taxed separately.
Separate net taxable income: are income taxed at a separate tax rate, such as arrears, early holiday pay, final tax on pension savings ....
Note on statistical population - Since income year 2003, non-residents subject to personal income tax are no longer included in our statistics.
Note on legal cohabitants - Legal cohabitants have only been taxed jointly since the income year of 2004. Prior to this year they were also asked to fill in an individual declaration form.