Domestic material consumption (i58)

In 2021, Belgiumʹs domestic material consumption amounted to 14.1 tonnes per capita. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must decrease. Between 2000 and 2021, the trend is favourable (assessment of April 2023).

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Domestic material consumption - Belgium and international comparison

tonnes per capita

//: Average Growth Rates

Eurostat (2022), Domestic material consumption - tonnes per capita [env_ac_mfa], (consulted on 26/10/2022).

Domestic material consumption by material - Belgium

tonnes per capita

metal ores and non-metallic minerals6.
fossil fuels4.
//: Average Growth Rates

Eurostat (2022), Domestic material consumption - tonnes per capita [env_ac_mfa], (consulted on 26/10/2022).

Definition: domestic material consumption (DMC) corresponds to domestic extractions, plus imports and minus exports. The materials considered are biomass, metal ores, non-metallic minerals and fossil fuels, as well as two residual categories (waste and other products, representing 1 or 2% of the total). DMC takes into account the raw materials contained in finished and semi-finished goods imported into or exported from Belgium, But with two restrictions. First, these raw materials are recorded only in the category of the material that is the main component of the good. Secondly, these materials are only counted for the weight of the products crossing the border. Another indicator proposed by Eurostat, the Consumption of Raw Materials (CMP), is free of these two restrictions and takes into account the consumption of raw materials used in the manufacture of imported or exported products. It is therefore a material footprint indicator. It is not yet used here because the data for the CMP are published two years later than for the CIM. Furthermore, for the data available, the assessments of these two indicators are identical.

The indicator used here is the DMC per capita and is expressed in tonnes per capita. Data come from Eurostat.

Goal: the total domestic material consumption must decrease.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include the following targets: 12.2 "By 2030 achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources” and 8.4 "Improve progressively through 2030 global resource efficiency in consumption and production, and endeavor to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation in accordance with the 10-year framework of programs on sustainable consumption and production with developed countries taking the lead".

The Federal Long-Term Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development includes the following objectives: “The quantity of non-renewable raw materials used will be significantly reduced. These materials will only be used when recycling offers no alternative to such use (Objective 33) and renewable raw materials (...) will be exploited without compromising the ability of future generations to use them” (Objective 34, Belgian Official Gazette 08/10/2013).

International comparison: the indicator developed quite in the same way in Belgium and in the EU27. In 2021, the DMC per capita in Belgium (14.0t/capita) is below the EU average (14.1t/capita). When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with average performance and outperforms the European average in 2021. In that year, the Netherlands ranked first with 7.4 t/capita and Finland last with 35.0 t/capita.

UN indicator: the selected indicator corresponds to indicator 12.2.2 - Domestic material consumption, domestic material consumption per capita, and domestic material consumption per GDP. This indicator is also used to monitor the SDG targets Decent work and economic growth (indicator 8.4.2).


  • 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: (consulted on 18/01/2023).

    • UN Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: (consulted on 18/01/2023).
  • Specific

More information is available in French and Dutch.