1 in 9 Belgian children grow up in a family where no one works

According to figures from the European statistics bureau Eurostat 11.8% of children in Belgium grow up in a family where on one is in work. According to an article in Monday’s edition of the daily ‘De Morgen’ the figures for Belgium are higher than in any other European country.  

Eurostat published the figures last week. While Belgium has the highest percentage of children living in houses where no one is in employment, it is closely followed by France, Ireland and the UK. In all three of these countries more than 11% of children grow in a family where their parent(s) or guardian are not in work. The average for the EU as whole in 9.4%.      

Countries that just a few years ago lagged behind Belgium when it came to the percentage of families with at least one parent in employment have since overtaken us. For example in 2013 16% of Bulgarian children were growing up in families where no-one worked. In Ireland this was 18%. Both countries have seen a drastic fall in the percentage of families without an income from work over the past 6 years. In Belgium the fall was much more modest at just 1%.     

Poverty experts say that growing up in a family where no one works seriously increases the risk that a child will grow up in poverty. Around 8 out of 10 children in such families are at risk of living in poverty.