The 2023 Belgian Poverty Watch is based on the experience of people in poverty
gathered by BAPN through consultations with people experiencing poverty as well as through information received from its network of members. This knowledge is supplemented with statistical data, scientific research and findings from other civil society organisations. This year, in addition to the usual analysis of the situation and evolution of poverty and social exclusion in Belgium, BAPN chose to examine three themes that will be a priority for the Belgian Presidency from 1 January – 30 June 2024: homelessness, digital inclusion and affordable and healthy food for all (in the context of the Child Guarantee). Finally, they also look at the latest developments in the debate on tax reform.
In 2022, 18.7% of the Belgian population, or 2.144.000 people, lived in poverty or social exclusion in Belgium (AROPE). 13.2%, or 1.517.000 people, were living in monetary poverty (AROPE). 9.5% of the Belgian population was materially and socially deprived, amounting to 1.083.000 people (MSD). 5.8%, or 663.000 people, were in a situation of severe material and social deprivation. In particular, being able to meet an unexpected expense and taking a week’s holiday away from home proved to be major stumbling blocks. 11.5% lived in a household with low work intensity. This is 1.020.000 people in total.
In its latest Poverty Watch Report BAPN warns against an underestimation of the impact of rising living costs on poverty and social inequality in Belgium.
According to the Price Observatory, Belgium experienced the highest inflation in 2022 since the start of European harmonised measurements.