Single households are the norm in Belgium
In almost all Belgian municipalities, people living alone have become the largest group, particularly those over 65. Families with children are becoming a minority, according to analysis of data from Statbel by De Tijd.
Almost 36 per cent of the more than 5 million households in Belgium consist of one person, one-fifth more than 30 years ago. In more than 90 per cent of cities and towns, single people are the most common type of family. According to forecasts by the Planning Bureau, single people will make up more than four in 10 households by 2070.
In particular, the share of married couples with resident children is decreasing. In city centres and the municipalities around Brussels, people living alone tend to be younger.
However, policies have not adapted to this change in society. Recent research by Flanders’ Department of the Environment points to a surplus of large houses and a lack of affordable alternatives for small households. Moreover, the risk of poverty is over 10 per cent higher among single people and fiscal advantages are geared towards families and couples.
Senator Kurt De Loor (Vooruit) intends to ask minister for Equal Opportunities Bart Somers (Open Vld) about the charter for singles, an initiative with the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities to introduce more single-friendly policies. “For many people, living alone is a conscious choice. We should not see being single or consciously living alone as a problem,” he told De Tijd.
#FlandersNewsService | © PHOTO EASY FOTOSTOCK