Severe material and social deprivation (i03)

  •  17/10/2022
  • objective 
  •  assessment 

In 2021, 6.3 % of the population in Belgium was affected by severe material and sociale deprivation. The evaluation uses the population affected by severe material deprivation (EU 2020) as an indicator. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must decrease. Between 2008 and 2019 the trend is undetermined (assessment of November 2021; without taking into account 2020, because the Covid-19 pandemic impacted data collection).

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Severe material and social deprivation and severe material deprivation (EU2020) - Belgium and international comparison

percentage of population

 2004200520102013201520182019202020212021//20152018//20042018//20132018//2010
Belgium--------7.26.56.36.76.3-2.2------
EU27--------9.77.16.76.8----------
Belgium (EU2020)4.76.55.95.15.85.04.43.93.6-7.60.4-0.4-2.0
EU27 (EU2020)----8.99.88.46.15.55.9-------9.0-4.6
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: BE 2019; BE 2020 data collection impacted by Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mdsd11 en ilc_mddd11, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 15/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Risque de pauvreté ou d'exclusion sociale - Chiffres, https://statbel.fgov.be/fr/themes/menages/pauvrete-et-conditions-de-vie/risque-de-pauvrete-ou-dexclusion-sociale (consulté le 15/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Direct communication 20/09/2022.

Severe material and social deprivation and severe material deprivation (EU2020) by region - Belgium

percentage of population

 20112013201520182019202020212021//20192018//2011
Brussels-Capital Region--------13.713.511.5-8.4--
Flemish Region--------3.63.94.410.6--
Walloon Region--------8.69.58.0-3.6--
Brussels-Capital Region (EU2020)16.114.913.610.110.68.88.1-12.6-6.4
Flemish Region (EU2020)2.92.73.12.11.91.51.6-8.2-4.5
Walloon Region (EU2020)7.46.38.18.66.76.85.8-7.02.2
//: Average Growth Rates

The margin of uncertainty for this indicator is indicated in the text for the latest year. Break in series: 2019; data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel (2012), SILC Quality Reports 2011, https://statbel.fgov.be/nl/themas/huishoudens/armoede-en-levensomstandigheden/risico-op-armoede-sociale-uitsluiting/plus (consulted on 14/10/2019), Statbel (2022), Risque de pauvreté ou d'exclusion sociale - Chiffres, https://statbel.fgov.be/fr/themes/menages/pauvrete-et-conditions-de-vie/risque-de-pauvrete-ou-dexclusion-sociale (consulted on 01/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Direct communication 20/09/2022.

Severe material and social deprivation and severe material deprivation (EU2020) by sex - Belgium

percentage of population

 2004200520102013201520182019202020212021//20152018//20042018//2013
females--------7.77.06.46.96.4-3.0----
males--------6.75.96.26.56.2-1.3----
females (EU2020)4.96.56.04.76.15.44.53.83.5-8.80.72.8
males (EU2020)4.66.55.75.55.54.64.24.03.8-6.00.0-3.5
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: BE 2019; BE 2020 data collection impacted by Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mdsd11 en ilc_mddd11, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 15/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Risque de pauvreté ou d'exclusion sociale - Chiffres, https://statbel.fgov.be/fr/themes/menages/pauvrete-et-conditions-de-vie/risque-de-pauvrete-ou-dexclusion-sociale (consulté le 15/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Direct communication 20/09/2022.

Severe material and social deprivation by age - Belgium

percentage of population

 2004200520102013201520182019202020212021//20152018//20042018//2013
<18--------9.99.28.48.18.6-2.3----
18-24--------6.14.44.95.84.7-4.3----
25-49--------7.66.76.37.06.6-2.3----
50-64--------7.17.07.27.56.8-0.7----
>64--------3.93.03.14.03.0-4.3----
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: BE 2019; BE 2020 data collection impacted by Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), TEPSR_LM420, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 15/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Direct communication 30/09/2022.

Severe material deprivation (EU2020) by age - Belgium

percentage of population

 2004200520102013201520182019202020212021//20152018//20042018//2013
<185.78.57.75.57.96.95.44.64.4-9.31.44.6
18-246.57.07.17.37.45.35.35.23.8-10.5-1.4-6.2
25-495.37.16.56.46.45.95.05.04.2-6.80.8-1.6
50-644.15.14.74.15.04.44.74.13.9-4.10.51.4
>645.37.06.45.76.55.71.61.51.4-22.60.50.0
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: BE 2019; BE 2020 data collection impacted by Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddd11, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 15/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Risque de pauvreté ou d'exclusion sociale - Chiffres, https://statbel.fgov.be/fr/themes/menages/pauvrete-et-conditions-de-vie/risque-de-pauvrete-ou-dexclusion-sociale (consulté le 15/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Direct communication 30/09/2022.

Severe material and social deprivation and severe material deprivation (EU2020) by education - Belgium

percentage of population

 2004200520102013201520182019202020212021//20192018//20042018//2013
at most lower secondary------------10.612.511.12.3----
upper secondary------------6.16.96.42.4----
tertiary------------1.71.71.82.9----
at most lower secondary (EU2020)7.27.59.18.69.89.16.87.46.7-0.71.71.1
upper secondary (EU2020)3.65.34.84.15.14.34.74.14.1-6.61.31.0
tertiary (EU2020)1.92.01.72.62.01.31.41.11.3-3.6-2.7-12.9
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2019; data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mdsd03 en ilc_mddd14, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 15/06/202), Statbel (2022), Risque de pauvreté ou d'exclusion sociale - Chiffres, https://statbel.fgov.be/fr/themes/menages/pauvrete-et-conditions-de-vie/risque-de-pauvrete-ou-dexclusion-sociale (consulté le 15/06/2022).

Severe material and social deprivation by household type - Belgium

percentage of population

 2004200520102013201520182019202020212021//20192018//20042018//2013
single person------------11.111.69.6-7.0----
2 adults < 65 ------------4.24.93.4-10.0----
2 adults, min. one 65+------------2.02.12.511.8----
single-parent family------------17.219.316.9-0.9----
2 adults with child(ren)------------5.05.25.65.8----
other ------------4.44.74.2-2.3----
//: Average Growth Rates

data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel (2022), Risque de pauvreté ou d'exclusion sociale - Chiffres, https://statbel.fgov.be/fr/themes/menages/pauvrete-et-conditions-de-vie/risque-de-pauvrete-ou-dexclusion-sociale (consulté le 09/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Direct communication 20/09/2022.

Severe material deprivation (EU2020) by household type - Belgium

percentage of population

 2004200520102013201520182019202020212021//20192018//20042018//2013
single person10.911.911.011.69.09.47.17.67.20.7-1.1-4.1
single-parent family16.220.318.116.116.916.111.911.711.2-3.00.00.0
2 adults2.83.92.92.92.32.12.31.71.5-19.2-2.0-6.3
2 adults, 1 child2.72.54.12.93.52.63.94.24.12.5-0.3-2.2
2 adults, 2 children2.33.01.61.43.93.32.21.20.9-36.02.618.7
2 adults, 3+ children4.58.97.84.86.55.55.02.63.7-14.01.42.8
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2019; data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2021), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddd13, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 01/10/2021), Statbel (2022), Risque de pauvreté ou d'exclusion sociale - Chiffres, https://statbel.fgov.be/fr/themes/menages/pauvrete-et-conditions-de-vie/risque-de-pauvrete-ou-dexclusion-sociale (consulté le 09/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Direct communication 20/09/2022.

Severe material and social deprivation and severe material deprivation (EU2020) - Belgium

percentage of population aged 18 years and over

 2004200520102013201520182019202020212021//20192018//20042018//2013
employed------------2.22.62.32.2----
unemployed------------25.430.121.1-8.9----
retired------------3.23.82.8-6.5----
other inactive------------13.414.414.12.6----
employed (EU2020)2.02.82.32.12.11.71.81.51.5-8.7-1.2-4.1
unemployed (EU2020)15.318.316.123.222.817.419.119.412.3-19.80.9-5.6
retired (EU2020)2.43.83.02.21.91.71.71.51.5-6.1-2.4-5.0
other inactive (EU2020)7.810.211.010.811.612.89.49.59.1-1.63.63.5
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2019; data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Because of the widespread use of temporary unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, the

Statbel; Eurostat (2021), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddd12, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 01/10/2021), Statbel (2022), Risque de pauvreté ou d'exclusion sociale - Chiffres, https://statbel.fgov.be/fr/themes/menages/pauvrete-et-conditions-de-vie/risque-de-pauvrete-ou-dexclusion-sociale (consulté le 09/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Direct communication 20/09/2022.

Severe material and social deprivation by income - Belgium

percentage of population

 2004200520102013201520182019202020212021//20192018//20042018//2013
quintile 1------------23.123.521.8-2.9----
quintile 2------------5.17.06.412.0----
quintile 3------------2.51.82.1-8.3----
quintile 4------------0.61.10.922.5----
quintile 5------------0.00.10.2------
//: Average Growth Rates

data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel (2022), Risque de pauvreté ou d'exclusion sociale - Chiffres, https://statbel.fgov.be/fr/themes/menages/pauvrete-et-conditions-de-vie/risque-de-pauvrete-ou-dexclusion-sociale (consulté le 15/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Direct communication 20/09/2022.

Severe material deprivation (EU2020) by income - Belgium

percentage of population

 2004200520102013201520182019202020212021//20192018//20042018//2013
quintile 115.321.320.318.621.820.216.014.513.6-7.82.01.7
quintile 25.36.56.55.05.53.73.74.02.9-11.5-2.5-5.8
quintile 32.23.11.81.61.20.91.40.71.3-3.6-6.2-10.9
quintile 40.71.40.40.40.50.20.60.40.3-29.3-8.6-12.9
quintile 50.20.30.30.00.00.00.10.10.10.0----
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2019; data collection 2020 impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic

Statbel; Eurostat (2021), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddd13, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 01/10/2021), Statbel (2022), Risque de pauvreté ou d'exclusion sociale - Chiffres, https://statbel.fgov.be/fr/themes/menages/pauvrete-et-conditions-de-vie/risque-de-pauvrete-ou-dexclusion-sociale (consulté le 09/06/2022); Statbel (2022), Direct communication 20/09/2022.

Definition: a person is severely materially and socially deprived if she or he cannot afford 7 of 13 material possessions or social actions for financial reasons. These material possessions or social actions are being able to make payments on time, taking a week's holiday away from home every year, eating meat, chicken or fish at least once every two days, having an unexpected expense, being able to afford one's own car, heating the home properly, replacing damaged or worn-out furniture, replacing worn-out clothing with new clothing, having two pairs of shoes in good condition (one of which must be a closed pair), having access to Internet at home, meeting friends or family for a meal or a drink at least once a month, regularly participating in leisure activities such as sports, films, concerts, etc. and finally spending a sum of money each week for personal needs (Federal Public Service Social Security, 2018; Statistical Commission, 2018). and finally spend a weekly amount for personal needs (Federal Public Service Social Security, 2018; Statbel, 2021b; European Commission, 2022).

Persons living in a household in a situation of severe material and social deprivation are part of the target group of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion, as defined in the framework of the Europe 2030 Strategy. The indicator replaces the indicator 'severe material deprivation' adopted under the Europe 2020 strategy. The list of material possessions or social actions of the indicator 'material and social deprivation' has been updated compared to its predecessor. A person is in a situation of severe material deprivation if his household is affected by at least four of the following nine items: not being able to afford unexpected expenses, a meal with proteins every other day, heating their home adequately (for a financial reason), one week annual holiday away from home, a car, a TV set, a phone, a washing machine (if they want it), and finally having arrears in the repayment of the mortgage loan or in the payment of the rent or utility bills.

The evolution of both indicators is commented upon below. The indicator agreed upon in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy, with data available from 2004, is always referred to as '(EU 2020)'. For the indicator agreed upon within the framework of the Europe 2030 strategy, data are available from 2015 at the earliest and there is no specific indication.

Material deprivation data presented here are based on the EU survey Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). People participating in this survey may indicate whether they are facing aforementioned problems or not at the moment of the survey. Statistics Belgium organises this EU-harmonised survey in Belgium and makes the results available, in particular to Eurostat. The data used here come from Eurostat, which publishes detailed and comparable results between EU Member States. Since these data are based on surveys, a margin of uncertainty must be taken into account. This margin of uncertainty increases as the indicator is calculated on smaller sub-populations. The confidence intervals for these data are available on request from Statistics Belgium.

In 2005, there was a methodological change in the SILC survey on the item "not being able to heat his house adequately (for financial reasons)". The place of the same item in the questionnaire also changed in 2008. For these reasons, it seems appropriate to consider the evolution of this indicator mainly from 2008 and not earlier.

From 2019 onwards, the survey methodology has been thoroughly reviewed for better accuracy. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic impacted data collection. This makes it difficult to compare the results of SILC 2020 with those of previous years. (Statbel, 2021a). Therefore, they are not used to calculate and evaluate the long-term trend. It should also be noted that due to the widespread use of temporary unemployment during the Covid-19 pandemic, the category 'unemployed' in SILC 2021 includes not only the long-term unemployed, but also persons who have been temporarily unemployed for more than 6 months and who are generally living in less precarious conditions (Statbel, 2022).

Goal: the proportion of people in a situation of severe material deprivation, and their number, must decrease.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include the following targets: “Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard” (target 10.3) and: “By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions” (target 1.2).

Persons living in a situation of severe material and social deprivation are part of the target group of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion for which the Europe 2030 Strategy (European Council, 2021a, 2021b) sets a reduction target. Its predecessor 'severe material deprivation' was part of the target group of persons at risk of poverty or social exclusion defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy (European Commission, 2010).

International comparison: between 2010 and 2012, the share of people in severe material deprivation (EU 2020) increased in the EU27 from 8.9% to 10.2%. Then it decreased to 5.9% in 2020. When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with average performance and outperforms the European average in 2019. In that year, Luxemburg ranked first with 1.7% and Bulgaria last with 19.4%.

The share of people in severe material and social deprivation decreased in the EU27 from 9.7% in 2015 to 6.8% in 2020. When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with the poorest performance in 2020. In that year, Luxembourg ranked first with 1.7% and Romania last with 25.3%.

UN indicator: the selected indicator is related to indicator 1.2.2 - Proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions, since the population in a situation of severe material deprivation is part of the population at risk of poverty or social exclusion, an indicator corresponding to the national definition of multidimensional poverty.

Sources

More information is available in French and Dutch.