Trust in institutions (i78)

In 2018, 37% of the population aged 15 and over in Belgium trusted the parliament, the legal system, politicians and the political parties. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must increase. Between 2004 and 2018, the trend is undetermined (assessment of November 2021).

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Trust in institutions - Belgium and international comparison

at least 6, on 0-10 scale

percentage of population aged 15 years and over

 2004201020122014201620182018//20042018//2012
Belgium33.830.036.835.436.337.00.60.1
Germany26.226.834.135.539.637.22.61.5
France22.521.925.122.022.225.30.80.1
Netherlands44.356.354.750.557.262.02.42.1
//: Average Growth Rates

ESS (2020), Dataset European Social Survey, http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/ (consulted on 29/09/2020); calculations FPB.

Trust in institutions by sex - Belgium

at least 6, on 0-10 scale

percentage of population aged 15 years and over

 2004201020122014201620182018//20042018//2012
females30.627.635.033.834.936.11.20.5
males37.332.538.837.137.737.90.1-0.4
//: Average Growth Rates

ESS (2020), Dataset European Social Survey, http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/ (consulted on 29/09/2020); calculations FPB.

Trust in institutions by income - Belgium

at least 6, on 0-10 scale

percentage of population aged 15 years and over

 201020122014201620182018//2012
quintile 123.128.930.628.731.51.5
quintile 222.331.332.732.330.3-0.5
quintile 330.436.331.534.932.6-1.8
quintile 434.441.933.838.640.9-0.4
quintile 537.745.742.642.648.61.0
//: Average Growth Rates

ESS (2020), Dataset European Social Survey, http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/ (consulted on 29/09/2020); calculations FPB.

Definition: trust in institutions is the average share of respondents of the European Social Survey (ESS) that gives a score of at least 6 out of 10 on each of the following four questions: “Could you assess your personal trust in each of the following institutions: the Belgian parliament, the judicial system, the politicians and the political parties”. For each institution, the interviewees can answer on a scale of zero (absolutely no confidence) to ten (complete confidence). This question was covered in eight biannual ESS surveys. The FPB calculates the indicator using the ESS data. 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.

Goal: trust in institutions must increase.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 16.6: “Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels”.

International comparison: in 2018 the indicator in Belgium (37.0%) is approximately at the same level as in Germany (37.2%) but significantly higher than in France (25.3%) and considerably lower than in the Netherlands (62.0%). The subjective nature of this indicator is such that the comparison between countries should be treated with caution.

UN indicator: the selected indicator is related to indicator 16.6.2 - Proportion of population satisfied with their last experience of public services. The satisfaction with services is different from trust in institutions, but both are relevant for the target on which they report.

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 24/09/2020).

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

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