Huge income disparity exists within Belgium’s municipalities, which weakens both diversity and social cohesion, according to information published by Le Soir on Monday.
The newspaper examined statistics of the 35,000 neighbourhoods of the country’s municipalities, discovering some acute – if inconsistent – income gaps in certain regions of the country,
Big differences are found in the south of Belgium: Arlon, Aubange, Leglise, Vaux-sur-Sure, Attert, Neufchateau and Messancy, but also in Burg-Reuland and Faimes, in the province of Liège, Fontaine-bishop or Mons in the Hainaut province.
It is in Beauvechain (Walloon Brabant), however, that these gaps are the most pronounced, with income varying from €25,000 to €75,000 per annual declaration.
The situation is not new, but at the intra-municipal level, the income gap is widening. On average, the gap has widened by more than 50% in Belgium. It is even bigger in Brussels, where it is up 61%.
“More precise analysis of the data shows that evolution over time is quite low. The income disparity does not necessarily increase but tends to be “spatialised”. The separation between rich and poor is beginning to be more geographical,” economist Philippe Ledent (ING) said.