Generalised trust

In 2016, 46.8% of the population aged 15 and over in Belgium, estimated that, in general, most people can be trusted. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, generalised trust must not decrease.

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Generalised trust - Belgium and international comparison

answer at least 6 (on 0-10 scale)

percentage of population aged 15 years and over

 200220042006200820102012201420162016//20022016//2010
Belgium37.737.740.543.641.045.539.546.81.62.2
Germany33.137.037.438.834.640.539.446.02.44.9
France26.128.728.227.425.428.730.029.10.82.3
Netherlands58.363.662.564.566.966.163.067.21.00.1
//: Average Growth Rates

Calculations FPB based on ESS (2018), Dataset European Social Survey, http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/ (consulted on 25/10/2018).

Generalised trust by sex - Belgium

answer at least 6 (on 0-10 scale)

percentage of population aged 15 years and over

 200220042006200820102012201420162016//20022016//2010
females37.034.639.140.837.842.137.045.51.53.1
males38.940.942.146.644.349.142.248.21.51.4
//: Average Growth Rates

Calculations FPB based on ESS (2018), Dataset European Social Survey, http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/ (consulted on 25/10/2018).

Generalised trust by income - Belgium

answer at least 6 (on 0-10 scale)

percentage of population aged 15 years and over

 20102012201420162016//2010
quintile 138.638.127.037.9-0.3
quintile 234.037.131.343.74.3
quintile 338.843.335.741.81.2
quintile 444.553.346.853.43.1
quintile 555.858.455.558.20.7
//: Average Growth Rates

Calculations FPB based on ESS (2018), Dataset European Social Survey, http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/ (consulted on 25/10/2018).

Definition: generalised trust is measured by the proportion of participants to the European Social Survey (ESS) who gave a score of at least 6 out of 10 to the question "Would you say that most people can generally be trusted, or that you can never be too careful in your contacts with people?" Respondents can give an answer on a scale from 0 ("you can never be too careful") to 10 ("most people are trustworthy"). This question was systematically asked in the eight biennial ESS surveys. The indicator is calculated by the FPB on the basis of data from the ESS. Since these data are based on surveys, a margin of uncertainty must be taken into account. The confidence intervals calculated for this indicator are presented in Annex 1 to the report Indicators complementary to GDP.

Goal: generalised trust must not decrease.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include goal 16: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

International comparison: in Belgium generalised trust (46.8%) is lower than in the Netherlands (67.2%), higher than in France (29.1%) and around the same level as in Germany (46.0%). The level of the indicator in the different countries also remains relatively stable over the whole period. Given the subjective nature of this indicator, comparisons between countries should be interpreted with caution.

UN indicator: the selected indicator does not correspond to any monitoring indicator for the SDGs, but is related to goal 16. Trust is a fundamental element of social capital, important for peaceful societies (Ortiz-Ospina and Roser, 2018).

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 23/10/2018).

  • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 23/10/2018).

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