The number of people in Belgium suffering material deprivation declined slightly last year. According to a report published on Thursday (14 April) by EU’s statistical office (Eurostat) the number was 646 000 people or 5.8 % of the population (compared to 5.9 % the previous year).
The proportion of persons severely materially deprived in the EU continued the downward trend observed since its peak in 2012 (9.9%).
In 2015, 8.2% of the population or around 41 million people in EU were severely materially deprived, meaning that they had living conditions constrained by a lack of resources such as not being able to afford to pay their bills, keep their home adequately warm, or take a one week holiday away from home.
Families with dependent children are affected more than households without children. 8.3% of households with two and more adults with children suffer from severe material deprivation, compared with 6.0% for those without dependent children; and severe material deprivation hits 17.3% of single parent families, compared with 11.0% for single adults without dependent children.
The most affected countries are Bulgaria (34.2 %), Romania (24.6 %) and Greece (22.2 %). The countries with the lowest rates are the Scandinavian countries and Iceland with rates from 1 to 3 %.
The rates in Belgium’s neighbors were as follows: Netherlands (2.5 %), France (4.5 %) and Germany (around 5 %).