Belgium has not been spared the scourge of unequal wealth distribution. The richest 10% of the Belgian population has nearly half (48.2%) of the net overall wealth of the country’s households.
This is according to estimates produced by the NGO Oxfam.
The Belgian publications Le Soir and De Standaard echoed this information on Monday. Both resumed Oxfam’s data, published in preparation for the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters in Switzerland.
The most affluent person in the Belgian population alone has 17.9% of this wealth.
Le Soir notes that although these figures do raise questions, they are slightly less unequal to the comparators for Belgium’s neighbours. In Germany, the richest 10% owns 60% of the country’s wealth and in France, the figure for the equivalent 10% tranche exceeds 50%.
The richest Belgian, Albert Frère, ironically considers himself to be the fifth poorest person of the national population in financial terms.
It is worth noting that Oxfam’s calculations differ from those of the National Bank of Belgium. The bank considers that, on the basis of 2014 figures, the richest 10% of the Belgian population hold 43-44% of the country’s total wealth.
Oxfam’s annual report appears to indicate that the eight richest people in the world have the equivalent wealth to as much as half of the combined world population.