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    Belgium reports high regional disparities in employment

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Belgium, together with Italy and Turkey, have the highest levels of regional disparity in employment rates in the OECD zone, stated Thursday this international organization in its “OECD Regions at a Glance, 2016”, a study which analyses wellbeing at the regional level. The OECD points to the large disparity in employment between the Flanders Region and the Brussels-Capital Region, with the latter classifying among the worst regions of the OECD in this regard. The three Belgian regions are among the regions with highest scores of OECD countries in relation to civic engagement due to the obligatory voting system, stated the OECD. The OECD also observed large regional differences in Belgium regarding health, access to services and security. In these three regards, Flanders performed better than the other regions, with the latter however being in the mid-range of the categorization.

    Out of the 11 parameters of wellbeing analysed in these regions, Flanders, the most prosperous region of the country, is ahead of the other regions except regarding the environment. Wallonia does somewhat better than Flanders, it may be said, but the OECD classifies the Belgian regions among the worst environmentally speaking (air pollution).

    Regarding the OECD regions as a whole, most countries were able to reduce the interregional gaps existing in the spheres of education and access to internet, but disparities in GDP per capita, disposable income, security, and environmental contamination often worsen. The differences in disposable income per capita which separates the richest regions from the poorest ones of the OECD zone improved by 1.5% per year over the 2000-2013 period.      

    Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)