Eleven percent of the Belgian population deprived themselves materially or socially in 2019, according to the latest figures from the Belgian statistical office Statbel. About a quarter of Belgians could not cope with an unexpected expense or afford a week’s vacation away from home last year.
Regional figures, which are available for the first time, reveal wide disparities. More than one in five Brussels residents (21.5%) were in a precarious situation last year, compared to 15.3% of the Walloons and 6.6% of the Flemish.
In Brussels and Wallonia, more than a third of people could not manage an unexpected expenditure, compared to 16% in Flanders. A quarter of Brussels residents also declared that they could not participate in leisure activities, for 17.7% of Walloons and 9.4% of Flemings. Almost one in five Brussels residents (18.5%) cannot afford a car. In Wallonia and Flanders, the percentages are 5.5% and 4.3% respectively.
Single parent families in difficulty
Parents of single-parent families and their children face significantly more difficulties. Almost a third are precarious (30.2%) and more than half cannot cope with an unforeseen expense (53.5%).
The survey uses for the first time an indicator developed at European level, which now includes social deprivations like going out or going for a drink in addition to material deprivations.