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Child poverty rising in Belgium

Published on 01/03/2005

1 March 2005

BRUSSELS – The proportion of Belgian children living in poverty rose steadily throughout the 1990s and now stands at 7.7 percent, it emerged on Tuesday.

Out of the 24 countries that are members of the Paris based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Belgium has seen the most significant rise in child poverty in recent years, with a 3.9 percent increase during the nineties.

Seventeen other countries also experienced an increase, according to a report carried out by the United Nations children’s’ organisation UNICEF.

But despite the rise, Belgium’s overall level of child is still relatively low compared to most of its OECD partners.

Of the 24 countries that make up the organisation, 20 have a higher lever of child poverty than Belgium.

The new UNICEF figures refer to relative poverty, meaning households that have revenue of less than 50 percent of the national average.

Scandinavian countries are the richest, with less than five percent of children living in this poverty bracket.

The Benelux countries, France, Hungary and the Czech Republic have figures ranging between five and ten percent.

Anglophone countries, with the exception of America, and southern European countries have higher poverty rates, between ten and twenty percent.

[Copyright Expatica 2005]

Subject: Belgian news