Poverty rates went down among the elderly in Belgium between 2014 and 2015, but continued to be high among unskilled persons, according to the latest figures from the European Union – Statistics on Income and Living Conditions 2015 report (EU-SILC 2015). And for the first time children face the highest risk of poverty of all age groups, Belgium’s Social Security Department noted Friday in an analysis of the results of the report.
The risk of poverty or social exclusion has remained stable for the general population, decreasing slightly from 21.2% in 2014 to 21.1% in 2015. In fact, the analysis shows that household incomes have stagnated since 2010. However, the trends for the various age groups are contradictory.
On one hand, the rates decreased significantly for the elderly (15.2% in 2015 as against 16.1% in 2014), with the improvement most visible among low-income people over the age of 65.
The poverty rate among children under the age of 18 decreased slightly between 2014 and 2015, from 18.8% to 18%, according to the EU-SILC report. However, because of the reduced poverty rates for other age-groups, the rate among minors is higher than those of other age categories for the first time ever.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of unskilled persons of working age have joined the lowest-income group: the poverty rate among the unskilled went up from 21% in 2004 to 28.5% in 2014, decreasing slightly to 28.0% in 2015.
According to the Social Security Department, the figures indicate a trend towards a widening gap between unskilled and highly skilled persons of working age.