The phenomenon of ‘holiday poverty’ in Belgium was higher than average in 2020, despite a decreasing trend in recent years. 28% of Brussels residents could not afford a week-long holiday outside of their homes for financial reasons.
As 340,000 Brussels residents cannot afford a holiday, the capital was in between Flanders with 15% and Wallonia with 32% of their population being in holiday poverty. The EU average at that time stood at 29%.
With inflation showing no sign of cooling down, more than half (54%) of Brussels residents currently barely make enough money to get through the month, compared to 41% in Flanders and 57% in Wallonia.
That means one in seven children in Belgium (14.5%) lives in a household at risk of poverty, with the most vulnerable in Brussels and the least affected in the Flemish Region.
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Holiday poverty was the highest among those who are unemployed at 35% and people in single-parent families at 31%. Of people in low-skilled jobs, 27% face holiday poverty, while 25% of singles and inactive people and 24% of pensioners cannot afford a week-long holiday.
In total, almost 2.2 million people in Belgium were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2021, nearly 20% of the population.