In the Brussels area, the percentage of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion currently sits at around 41.2% and approximately a third of Brussels inhabitants (32.5%) are living on a income that is below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold. The figures come from the 2014 social barometer produced by Brussels Health and Welfare Observatory and published to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. The at-risk-of-poverty rate is nearly 5 times higher among Brussels’ unemployed than among those with jobs. In Brussels, one person of working age in five (20.4%), and nearly one in three under-25s of working age (30.3%) is a non-working job-seeker.
A fifth (19.6%) of the population of Brussels of working age (18-64 years old) and 17.1% of over 65s are dependent on some form of welfare benefit or unemployment benefit.
Almost five percent (4.9%) of the population of Brussels of working age is claiming some form of income-replacement wage, a figure which more than doubles to 9.9% among young adults. 9.9% of over 65s receive the GRAPA (minimum revenue for seniors). The barometer, now in its tenth edition, therefore shows that in the Brussels Region, one in ten 18-25-year-olds and one in ten seniors have virtually no other resources to live on other than their welfare allowance.
The high cost of housing, constantly on the rise, is becoming a heavier and heavier burden in the budget of Brussels households. Between 2004 and 2013, the average inflation-adjusted rent increased by 20%, meaning availability of housing for those on low-incomes has deteriorated considerably.
Christopher Vincent (Source: Belga)