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Regional poverty margin grows

Published on 27/04/2007

27 April 2007

BRUSSELS – The poverty margin between Flanders and Wallonia is growing fast. While Wallonia has seen an increase in poverty over the past few years, Flanders is faring well, among the top regions of the EU in fact, according to figures from the Socialist SP.A research department.

The number of Belgians living under the poverty line increased from 13 to 15 percent between 1999 and 2005. In regional terms that figure increased in Wallonia from 13 to 17.5 percent, and fell in Flanders from 13 to 10.7 percent.

“Only Sweden – with 9 percent – is doing better than Flanders,” said SP.A chairman Johan Vande Lanotte.

The differences in income continue to grow as well. In Flanders those in the top 20 percent with regard to income earn 3.5 times what those in the bottom 20 percent earn. Both Wallonia and Brussels show much greater margins – the top 20 percent of earners earn 4.1 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively, what the bottom percent earn.

Vande Lanotte says this growing margin is mainly due to the differences in degrees of employment.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news