Severe material deprivation

In 2017, 5.1% of the population in Belgium was affected by severe material deprivation. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must decrease.

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Severe material deprivation - Belgium and international comparison

percentage of total population

 20042005201020122015201620172017//20042017//2012
Belgium4.76.55.96.35.85.55.10.6-4.1
EU28----8.49.98.17.56.6---7.8
//: Average Growth Rates

EU28 2017: expected

Statistics Belgium; Eurostat (2019), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddd11, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 02/04/2019).

Severe material deprivation by sex - Belgium

percentage of population

 20042005201020122015201620172017//20042017//2012
females4.96.56.06.36.15.75.40.8-3.0
males4.66.55.76.35.55.34.80.3-5.3
//: Average Growth Rates

Statistics Belgium; Eurostat (2018), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddd11, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 06/09/2018).

Severe material deprivation by age - Belgium

percentage of population

 20042005201020122015201620172017//20042017//2012
<185.78.57.78.37.96.96.51.0-4.8
18-645.16.56.06.66.16.15.50.6-3.6
>641.93.62.82.82.12.12.21.1-4.7
//: Average Growth Rates

Statistics Belgium; Eurostat (2018), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddd11, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 06/09/2018).

Severe material deprivation by education - Belgium

percentage of population

 20042005201020122015201620172017//20042017//2012
less than primary, primary and lower secondary education7.27.59.110.39.810.69.21.9-2.2
upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education3.65.34.84.65.14.14.00.8-2.8
tertiary education1.92.01.72.42.01.71.8-0.4-5.6
//: Average Growth Rates

Statistics Belgium; Eurostat (2018), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddd14, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 26/09/2018).

Severe material deprivation by household type - Belgium

percentage of population

 20042005201020122015201620172017//20042017//2012
single person10.911.911.010.29.09.29.1-1.4-2.3
single person with dependent children16.220.318.121.116.914.916.70.2-4.6
two adults2.83.92.92.82.32.52.90.30.7
two adults with one dependent child2.72.54.15.53.53.13.92.9-6.6
two adults with two dependent children2.33.01.63.13.91.52.60.9-3.5
two adults with three or more dependent children4.58.97.86.86.57.94.2-0.5-9.2
//: Average Growth Rates

Statistics Belgium; Eurostat (2018), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddd13, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 06/09/2018).

Severe material deprivation by activity status - Belgium

percentage of population aged 18 years and over

 20042005201020122015201620172017//20042017//2012
employed2.02.82.32.62.12.21.8-0.8-7.1
not employed6.99.08.38.98.27.97.60.7-3.1
unemployed15.318.316.115.622.820.119.51.94.6
retired2.43.83.02.61.92.12.3-0.3-2.4
other inactive7.810.211.013.211.612.011.63.1-2.6
//: Average Growth Rates

Statistics Belgium; Eurostat (2018), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddd12, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 06/09/2018).

Severe material deprivation by income - Belgium

percentage of population

 20042005201020122015201620172017//20042017//2012
quintile 115.321.320.321.021.822.119.92.0-1.1
quintile 25.36.56.57.95.53.63.7-2.7-14.1
quintile 32.23.11.81.51.21.61.4-3.4-1.4
quintile 40.71.40.40.70.50.10.5-2.6-6.5
quintile 50.20.30.30.40.00.10.1-5.2-24.2
//: Average Growth Rates

Statistics Belgium; Eurostat (2018), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddd13, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 06/09/2018).

Definition: a person is in a situation of severe material deprivation if his or her household faces at least four of the following nine problems: 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.

On 15 March 2017, the EU approved the material and social deprivation indicator that will replace the material deprivation indicator. It will be calculated as from 2019. This new indicator is based on a group of 13 problems. A person is in a situation of material and social deprivation if he or she faces at least 5 of the 13 problems mentioned (Federal Public Service Social Security, 2018).

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 these 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. The confidence intervals for these data are available on request from Statistics Belgium.

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).

People living in a household with severe material deprivation are part of the target group for which the Europe 2020 Strategy (European Commission, 2010) sets a reduction target, namely the people at risk of poverty or social exclusion.

International comparison: between 2010 and 2012, this indicator increased in the EU28 from 8.4% to 9.9%. Then it decreased to 6.7% in 2017. This indicator is lower in Belgium than in the EU28 over the whole period concerned. When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with average performance and outperforms the European average in 2017.

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

  • SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals: United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, document A/RES/70/1.

  • Indicators: United Nations (2017), Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, document A/RES/71/313.

  • UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ (consulted on 23/10/2018).

  • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 23/10/2018).

More information is available in FR (French) and NL (Dutch).