Although the poverty rate in Belgium is on a steady decline, many people remain at risk. Here are ten facts about poverty in Belgium:
- In 2012, 16.7 percent of people under 18 were living in families with an income level below the line of poverty in Belgium.
- Fifteen percent of the Belgian population lives in poverty. Only 3.7 percent of the population falls into the lowest 10 percent of Belgian’s income levels, which is a sign of good progress.
- Poverty in Belgium is on the decline due to a strong economy and a high awareness rate, however, the youth population is still at risk.
- In 2014, the monetary poverty rate stood at 15 percent, while 21 percent of the Belgian population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This means that although only 15 percent were actually below the income level that indicated poverty, many Belgians are at risk of dropping below that line, and even being excluded socially and not given help when needing it.
- Six percent of the Belgian population experienced severe material deprivation. They were not allowed the proper materials to keep safe, warm, or even the proper nutrients to survive. Many of these people are struggling with shelter and their diets.
- Members of single-parent families are at a 51 percent risk of social exclusion and poverty in Belgium. Many of these children also suffer from severe mental disorders and trauma surrounding not having a parent nearby, the social exclusion due to their poverty, and the poverty itself, always being worried about the next bill or meal.
- Compared to other countries in Europe, Belgium has a very low poverty rate of entry, but an even lower poverty exit rate, which could be a terrible combination in regards to the future.
- In 2015, Belgium had 5,766 refugees and internally displaced persons. Of those, only approximately 724 were below the poverty line.
- Belgium is the economic and political powerhouse for Europe. It also has a strong interest in foreign affairs and is involved in most of the programs that are helping with other countries’ poverty rates.
- The value for the GINI index in Belgium is great, sitting at 27.59 in 2012. The GINI index measures the extent to which the distribution of income among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. A GINI index of 0 implies perfectly equal distribution, while a 100 implies perfect inequality.
While Belgium still has work to do, it is one of the most poverty-knowledgeable countries in Europe. It has several plans and programs in place that will help poverty in Belgium to continue to slowly decline over the years.
– Rilee Pickle