"1 in 7 Belgians lives in poverty"
According to figures from the Federal Service Economy, just over 15% of the Belgian population live in poverty.
Between 2004 and 2007 the number of Belgians living under the poverty line stabilised. Since 2007 the number of poor Belgians has most likely grown.
Researchers are quick to point out that the study was conducted before the beginning of the economic crisis. Based on indicative figures for 2008, 21% of Belgians were having a difficult time making ends meet.
According to the report about 11% of people in Flanders were living below the poverty line between 2004 and 2007. Wallonia had 8% more during that period.
Apart from regional differences, there are also sociological differences. Women have more chance of falling into the poverty trap than men (16% for men compared to 14% of women).
Single parents are some of the most vulnerable, accounting for 36% of the poorest members of the public. Further, 1 pensioner in 5 is unable to live on his or her pension alone and thus lives below the poverty line.
The active working population is faring relatively well. Belgium scored quite well compared to other EU countries for the number of working poor. The working poor form 4% of those living under the poverty line.