Passersby on a street in Namur, Wallonia, Source: Depositphotos

Wallonia is among the best in Europe in terms of income equality

Wallonia is among the best in Europe in terms of income equality

That places the Belgian region on par with Scandinavian countries

The Walloon Institute of Statistics (IWEPS), in Belgium, published on Monday its latest report on the state of income equality in the French-speaking region of the country. According to it, Walonia is among the most egalitarian regions in Europe and the world – a feat which has been consistent for many years now.

Income equality, or inequality alternatively, is measured by the so-called Gini coefficient by economists. The value of the coefficient varies from zero – which represents total equality of income – to one, if all the income is received by a single individual. 

According to the latest stats, the Walloon Gini index was 0.242 in 2022. The experts have pointed out that such parameters place the region on par with the Scandinavian countries, known for their egalitarian societies. That indicator has been quite stable for the past decade, at least. The same goes for Belgium’s Dutch-speaking region – Flanders, which has about the same rates in terms of income equality.

Belgium’s third region – the capital city of Brussels, however, is much more unequal, with a Gini index of 0.345.

Risk of poverty also remains stable

According to IWEPS, however, the risk of poverty among Walloon residents also remains stable, which is a factor that needs to be addressed more robustly. The at-risk-of-poverty rate, which measures the share of the population living in a household whose net income is below the poverty threshold (60% of the national median income), is also relatively stable at 17.8%.

Furthermore, much like income equality, the poverty share of the population seems to have stabilized over the years. In 2022, 13.4% of Walloons were living in conditions described as sustainable poverty. What this means is that these people have been living below the poverty threshold for at least two of the past three years.

This can have the effect of putting a brake on social mobility and from there serve as an accelerator of social and income inequalities in the future.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU