"1 in 7 Belgians lives in poverty"

15 percent of the Belgians live in poverty. This can be extrapolated from figures by the Federal Public Service Economy. Taking all the European Union member states, Belgium is situated in the middle bracket. 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.

The report by the Federal Service Economy was conducted before the beginning of the economic crisis. The researchers point this out at the onset. Based on indicative figures for 2008 21 percent of the Belgians were having a difficult time making ends meet.

According to the report about 11 percent of people in Flanders were living below the poverty line between 2004 and 2007. Wallonia had 8 percent more poor during that period.

Apart from regional differences there are also sociological differences. Women have more chance of landing in poverty than men do (16 percent as compared to 14 percent). Single parents are very vulnerable, accounting for 36 percent of the poor. Further, 1 pensioner in 5 is unable to live on his or her pension and lives below the poverty line.

The active working population is faring relatively well. Belgium scored quite good compared to the other EU countries for the number of working poor. The working poor form 4 percent of those living under the poverty line.