Long-standing illness or health problem

In 2020, 24.8% of the population aged 16 and over in Belgium declare themselves as having a long-standing illness or health problem. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must decrease.

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Long-standing illness or health problem - Belgium and international comparison

percentage of population aged 16 years and over

 200520102015201920202020//20052020//20152019//2010
Belgium25.125.624.626.124.8-0.10.20.2
EU27--32.035.535.7------1.2
//: Average Growth Rates

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

Statistics Belgium; Eurostat (2021), People having a long-standing illness or health problem [hlth_silc_04], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 21/06/2021).

Long-standing illness or health problem by region - Belgium

percentage of population aged 16 years and over

 2019
Brussels-Capital Region30.1
Flemish Region23.3
Walloon Region29.8

The margin of uncertainty for this indicator is indicated in the text for the latest year.

Statistics Belgium (2020), direct communication (30/10/2020).

Long-standing illness or health problem by sex - Belgium

percentage of population aged 16 years and over

 200520102015201920202020//20052020//2015
females27.328.026.527.126.3-0.2-0.2
males22.723.122.525.123.30.20.7
//: Average Growth Rates

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

Statistics Belgium; Eurostat (2021), People having a long-standing illness or health problem [hlth_silc_04], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 21/06/2021).

Long-standing illness or health problem by age - Belgium

percentage of population aged 16 years and over

 2005201020142015201820192019//20052019//2014
<259.59.610.99.110.810.30.6-1.2
25-4917.417.917.817.516.718.20.30.5
50-6431.432.231.631.730.633.60.51.2
>6446.144.840.639.639.739.8-1.0-0.4
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2019

Statistics Belgium (2020), direct communication (30/10/2020).

Long-standing illness or health problem by income - Belgium

percentage of population aged 16 years and over

 2005201020142015201820192019//20052019//2014
quintile 134.935.135.735.335.838.60.71.6
quintile 231.735.531.832.332.631.5-0.1-0.2
quintile 324.324.324.123.722.425.60.41.2
quintile 418.817.718.416.917.819.60.31.3
quintile 516.216.015.414.815.615.8-0.10.6
//: Average Growth Rates

break in series: 2019

Statistics Belgium (2020), direct communication (30/10/2020).

Definition: the share of the population aged 16 and over that reports having a long-standing illness or health problem. The data come from the European Union's Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) survey. In this survey, participants are asked to indicate whether they have a long-standing health problem or illness. Statistics Belgium organises this EU-harmonised survey in Belgium and makes the results available, in particular to Eurostat. The data used here for Belgium come directly from Statistics Belgium and the data used for comparison with the rest of the EU come from Eurostat. 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.

Data for 2019 and 2020 are difficult to compare with each other and are not comparable with data up to 2018. From 2019 onwards, the survey methodology has been thoroughly reviewed for better accuracy. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted data collection. Detailed information on these questions is available on the Statistics Belgium website (Statbel, 2021).

Goal: the share of the population suffering from a long-standing health problem or illness must decrease.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 3.4: “By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being”. The change in the share of people suffering from long-standing diseases provides in particular information on non-communicable diseases and well-being.

International comparison: between 2010 and 2019, the share of people suffering from a long-standing illness or health problem is higher in the European Union (EU27) than in Belgium. In 2019, the difference reached 9.6 percentage points, which is more than in 2010. When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group that performs best in 2019.

UN Indicator: the selected indicator is related to indicator 3.4.1 - Mortality of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease. Indeed, before dying of a chronic disease, people are affected for a certain period of time by a long-term illness or health problem. Tracking this helps to understand the mortality pattern.

Sources

More information is available in French and Dutch.