Noise pollution

In 2017, the proportion of the population that reported suffering from noise from neighbours or the street was 15.4% in Belgium. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must be reduced to zero percent. This objective will not be reached by continuing the trend since 2003. The proportion of the population that reported being affected by noise is therefore developing unfavourably.

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

Noise pollution - Belgium - trend assessment

percentage of population

 200020052010201520162017202020252030
observations--23.318.918.015.615.4------
trend and extrapolation--23.519.616.716.215.714.513.212.6
objective 20300.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.00.0

Statistics Belgium; Eurostat (2019), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddw01, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 1/04/2019); calculations FPB.

Noise pollution - Belgium and international comparison

percentage of population

 20032005201020122015201620172017//20032017//2012
Belgium25.023.318.917.418.015.615.4-3.4-2.4
EU28----20.518.818.017.917.5---1.4
//: Average Growth Rates

Statistics Belgium; Eurostat (2019), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddw01, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 1/04/2019).

Noise pollution by income - Belgium

percentage of population

 20032005201020122015201620172017//20032017//2012
below 60% of median equivalised income29.126.924.122.726.023.624.7-1.21.7
above 60% of median equivalised income24.322.618.016.416.614.113.6-4.1-3.7
//: Average Growth Rates

Statistics Belgium; Eurostat (2019), European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), ilc_mddw01, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 1/04/2019).

Definition: this indicator measures the share of the population that reported suffering from noise from neighbours or the street. The sensitivity to noise is subjective. A variation in the indicator may be due either to a change in the actual noise nuisance or to a change in the sensitivity to noise of the persons interviewed.

The data on this indicator are based on the Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) survey of the European Union. Statbel 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 a survey, a margin of uncertainty must be taken into account. The confidence intervals for these data are available on request from Statbel.

Goal: the share of the population suffering from noise must be reduced to zero per cent by 2030.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include 2 targets, which mention access to adequate housing (11.1 “By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums) and the reduction of the environmental impact of cities (11.6 “By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management”).

The Federal Long-Term Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development contains objective 25 “the use of means of transport shall be accompanied by the emission of the least possible [...] noise”. In addition, the foreword to the first objective mentions decent housing as one of the preconditions for well-being.

Finally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) published in 2018 the "Environmental Noise Guidelines for the European Region" (WHO, 2018). It formulates recommendations on the maximum noise level to which the public should be exposed. The WHO also states that "noise is one of the major environmental risks to physical and mental health" (WHO, 2019).

The share of the population that reported suffering from noise from neighbours or the street must then tend to zero.

International comparison: the share of the population suffering from noise is just below the European average in Belgium. Between 2010 and 2017, this indicator decreased from 20.5% to 17.5% for the EU28 and from 18.9% to 15.4% for Belgium. When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with average performances in 2017 and performs better than the European average.

UN indicator: the selected indicator does not correspond to any monitoring indicator for the SDGs but is related to target 11.6 which calls for a reduction in the negative environmental impact of cities, including noise nuisance.

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 26/04/2019).

  • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 26/04/2019).

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