Best-off fifth own 60% of Belgium's wealth

Figures from Belgium's central bank, the NBB, show that the most affluent fifth of the population own sixty percent of the wealth. In contrast the poorest fifth of the population possess barely 0.2% of the country's prosperity.

People in the most prosperous fifth of the population also earn half the salaries in this country. The poorest fifth of the population make 3.5% of the country's wages.

The average Belgian household owns 338,600 euros. Average Belgian earnings are 49,500 euros before tax.

Despite the wide variations in wealth and earnings in Belgium the country does not perform badly compared to its European partners. The average European family is worth 230,800 euros. For Slovakia the figure is 79,700 euros, for Luxembourg it's 710,100 euros.

In Europe as a whole the share of wealth owned by the richest fifth of the population is higher than in Belgium: 67%. For Germany the figure tops 76%.

However 7.4% of Germans owe more than they own. In Belgium the figure is 2.7%.

The data were published in the NBB's Economic Journal and were publicised on Tuesday by the daily Le Soir.