Gender pay gap

Pay gap: Belgium scores better than most other European countries

Work & training
 Pay gap: Belgium scores better than most other European countries

In Belgium, women earn on average 6 % less per hour than men, according to the harmonised European gender pay gap of 2018 published by Statbel, the Belgian statistical office.

And yet, Belgium performs better than most of the other European countries in terms of hourly wage equality between men and women.

The average EU pay gap is 14.8 %. Only Romania (3 %), Luxembourg (4.6 %) and Italy (5.0%)* have better results than Belgium.

Since 2010, the pay gap in Belgium decreased from 10.2 % to 6 %. For the EU average, the decrease was smaller: from 15.8 % in 2010 to 14.8 % in 2018.

These are the evolutions in the top 10 countries with the lowest pay gap

   2010 %  2018 %
1 Slovenia 0.9 Romania 3.0
2 Poland 4.5 Luxembourg 4.6
3 Italy 5.3 Italy 5.0*
4 Croatia 5.7 Belgium 6.0
5 Malta 7.2 Slovenia 8.7
6 Luxembourg 8.7 Poland 8.8
7 Romania 8.8 Croatia 10.5
8 Belgium 10.2 Hungary 11.2
9 Lithuania 11.9 Malta 11.7
10 Portugal 12.8 Sweden 12.2

* Italy: figures from 2017

Gender Pay gap
Content

Gender pay gap = (hourly wage for men - hourly wage for women) / hourly wage for men
* Greece: figures from 2014, Italy and Ireland: figures from 2017

The gender pay gap represents the difference between the average gross hourly wages of women and men, expressed as a percentage of the average pay for men. It is expressed as follows:

Gender pay gap = (hourly wage for men - hourly wage for women) / hourly wage for men

The gender pay gap is calculated based on:

  •  the survey on earnings for the reference year 2014;
  •  NSSO data for the years after 2014.

All the EU Member States apply harmonised concepts and methods for the calculation of the gender pay gap. This makes it possible to compare the Belgian situation with the pay gap in the other EU Member States. These pay gap figures cover all employees with an employment contract working in enterprises with at least 10 employees, regardless of the number of hours worked.

In addition to the aggregated pay gap figures, Statbel also contributes to the Belgian Pay Gap Report published by the Institute for the equality of women and men. However, the results included in the report may slightly differ from the aggregated pay gap figures. The statistical population differs, for example, and recalculations are carried out for education, among other. The most recent Pay Gap Reports are available via a separate link.