More than 4.5 million Belgians unable to save in 2020

In 2020, 4,622,000 Belgians were unable to save for a typical month, or 40.8% of the population, revealed Thursday the National Statistics Institute Statbel.

Almost six out of 10 Belgians were therefore able to save. In Flanders, this rate stands at 68.1%, and falls to 50.4% in Brussels and 46.1% in Wallonia.

Of the 18.9% of Belgians considered to be at risk of poverty or social exclusion (AROPE), 22.1% were able to save, while 60.9% were just able to make ends meet, 10.9% even had to use their savings and 6.1% had to borrow to get by.

The results also show that 3.4% of Belgians live in a household that has had at least one payment arrears in the last 12 months on other bills than those relating to housing charges. Concretely, these people did not have sufficient financial means to pay on time bills for health care, school, telephone or internet, for example. The unemployed (11.7%), members of single-parent families (9.1%), tenants (8.6%) and people with low levels of education (5.1%) are the hardest hit.

In addition, one in five Belgians (21.6%) has an outstanding loan, with the exception of the loan for the purchase of the main residence, and 4.2% of Belgians have two or more. Individuals take out fewer additional loans in Flanders (18.3%) than in Brussels (31.7%) and Wallonia (37.7%). Complementary loans are mainly taken out for cars.

The figures come from the 2020 survey on income and living conditions (EU-SILC), which surveyed more than 7,000 Belgian households.

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