One in 3 Brussels residents lives on income inferior to the poverty threshold, according to the 2015 edition of the social barometer published by the Brussels Health and Social Issues Observatory on Wednesday. The annual barometer updates performance indicators for various aspects of people’s lives: income, work, education, health, housing, and social involvement.
“Brussels is a financially successful region and city. Gross domestic product per capita reached 61,899 euros in 2013, compared to 26,183 euros in Wallonia and 35,922 euros in Flanders. But jobs and wealth generated in Brussels do not benefit large numbers of residents,” points out the report.
Indeed, in 2014, between 26.7% and 35.1% of Brussels residents were surviving on income below the poverty threshold which stood at 1,085 euros per month for a single person.
Furthermore, over a fifth (23.5%) of working-age residents receive either a welfare allowance or a replacement income (such as unemployment or disability), and 25.7% of Brussels’ under-18s grow up in households with no income from work.
Local disparity is also huge. The unemployment rate in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre for example is 10.3% compared to 30.1% in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode. Socio-economic levels affect people’s health: life expectancy varies by 2.9 years for men and 2.5 years for women depending on how wealthy a local community is.