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Income inequality has risen in Europe, but remains stable in Belgium

16:45 03/04/2019

A study published by the World Inequality Lab found that there has been a rise in income inequality in Europe since 1980. However, this is not the case for Belgium. 

In most European countries, the increase in national income has been reserved mostly for the wealthiest 10% of citizens. Along with this, the top 1%'s incomes have grown at double the rate of the average.

The findings have left the authors of the study calling for more progressive taxation of individuals and businesses at a European level. 

Despite the findings, this still leaves income inequality in Europe at far less than other countries such as the United States. Since 1980, the average income of the lower 50% in Europe has risen by 37%, whereas in the US, there has been no rise in income over the same period.

In Belgium, the share of income among the highest-earning 10% is exactly what it was in the early 1990s, and the lowest 50% have stable income levels as well. 

Belgium's relatively low levels of poverty can be attributed to tax redistribution, social spending and wage regulation, according to the study. 

Written by Sophia Moll


Frank Lee

Low levels of poverty, but about the same level of beggars in the streets of the capital as all the other European countries.
Also, there is no significant increase in the income of the top earners because the smart ones are leaving Belgium for better places where one can keep more of what she or he earns.

Apr 4, 2019 15:28

@Frank Lee: the smart ones have left, or shall we name something else. Sleazy tax dodgers comes to mind...

Apr 5, 2019 11:14

Frank, where do you get the info on equivalent numbers of beggars? From a scientific study, or out of your head?

Apr 6, 2019 14:17

Not to mention the fact that many of the beggars come from other countries where income inequality is greater and they have not benefitted from Belgium's system.

Apr 6, 2019 14:23