Long-standing illness or health problem (i16)

  •  17/10/2022
  • objective 
  •  assessment 

In 2021, 25% 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. Between 2005 and 2019 the trend is undetermined (assessment of November 2021; without taking into account 2020, because the Covid-19 pandemic impacted data collection).

The chart will appear within this DIV.
The chart will appear within this DIV.
The chart will appear within this DIV.
The chart will appear within this DIV.
The chart will appear within this DIV.

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

percentage of population aged 16 years and over

 200520102013201520182019202020212018//20052018//20132021//2019
Belgium25.125.625.924.624.726.124.825.0-0.1-0.9-2.1
EU27--32.033.435.536.135.835.2----1.6--
//: Average Growth Rates

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

Statbel (2022), direct communication (20/09/2022) and Eurostat (2022), People having a long-standing illness or health problem [hlth_silc_04], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/05/2022).

Long-standing illness or health problem by region - Belgium

percentage of population aged 16 years and over

 201920212021//2019
Brussels-Capital Region30.126.5-6.2
Flemish Region23.321.9-3.0
Walloon Region29.830.20.7
//: Average Growth Rates

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

Statbel (2022), direct communication (20/09/2022).

Long-standing illness or health problem by sex - Belgium

percentage of population aged 16 years and over

 200520102013201520182019202020212018//20052018//20132021//2019
females27.328.028.326.526.727.126.326.5-0.2-1.1-1.0
males22.723.123.422.522.825.123.323.50.0-0.5-3.2
//: Average Growth Rates

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

Statbel (2022), direct communication (20/09/2022) and Eurostat (2022), People having a long-standing illness or health problem [hlth_silc_04], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/05/2022).

Long-standing illness or health problem by age - Belgium

percentage of population aged 16 years and over

 200520102013201520182019202020212018//20052018//20132021//2019
<259.59.610.69.110.810.39.38.71.00.3-7.9
25-4917.417.918.717.516.718.216.817.4-0.3-2.3-2.2
50-6431.432.231.731.730.633.632.031.1-0.2-0.7-3.7
>6446.144.843.339.639.739.839.440.0-1.1-1.70.2
//: Average Growth Rates

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

Statbel (2022), direct communication (20/09/2022).

Long-standing illness or health problem by income - Belgium

percentage of population aged 16 years and over

 200520102013201520182019202020212018//20052018//20132021//2019
quintile 134.935.137.135.335.838.638.637.50.2-0.7-1.5
quintile 231.735.532.832.332.631.532.531.10.2-0.1-0.6
quintile 324.324.324.023.722.425.622.024.1-0.6-1.4-3.0
quintile 418.817.718.116.917.819.617.518.3-0.4-0.3-3.3
quintile 516.216.017.714.815.615.814.014.3-0.3-2.6-5.0
//: Average Growth Rates

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

Statbel (2022), direct communication (20/09/2022).

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.

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, 2021). Therefore, they are not used to calculate and evaluate the long-term trend.

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 2020, the share of people suffering from a long-standing illness or health problem is higher in the European Union (EU27) than in Belgium. In 2020, the difference reached 10.4 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. In that year, Italy ranked first with 16.0% and Finland last with 49,7%.

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

  • General

    • 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 24/09/2020).

    • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 24/09/2020).
  • Specific

More information is available in French and Dutch.