Poverty risk in Belgium falls to lowest level since 2004

The risk of poverty in Belgium has fallen to its lowest level since measurements began in 2004, reports KU Leuven professor Wim Van Lancker, based on newly released figures from Statbel. There was a decrease in the risk of poverty in Brussels and Wallonia, while the figure for Flanders remain unchanged.

The Statbel report shows that in 2023, 12.3 per cent of the Belgian population lived in a family with a disposable income below the poverty threshold: 1,450 euros per month for a single person and 3,045 euros for a four-person household. Risk of poverty is thus at its lowest level since 2004, when measurements began.

In particular, the situation has improved for vulnerable groups, such as people with low skill levels, single parents and their children, tenants and the over-65s. However, the proportion of working people at risk of poverty has risen from 3.6 per cent to 4.3 per cent in just one year.

Effective policy measures

Van Lancker attributes the poverty risk decline for vulnerable groups to policy measures taking effect, in particular successive increases in benefits for vulnerable citizens.

The increase in the risk for working citizens, on the other hand, is due to rising employment. Being employed does not automatically reduce the risk of poverty, depending on the type of job, wages and family situation, said Van Lancker, a professor of social work and social policy, on X.

The risk of poverty decreased in Wallonia and Brussels, while it remained stable in Flanders. People in Flanders still have a lower risk of poverty than the other regions for each of the main poverty indicators used by Statbel.


#FlandersNewsService | © PHOTO ALAIN JOCARD / AFP

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