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Socio-economic development of the Brussels Region

Standard of living

According to the existing tax statistics (Statbel), the mean income of people who live in Brussels amounted to 26,871 Euro (per tax return; 13,525 Euro per inhabitant) in 2013. This is the lowest of the 3 Belgian regions. Furthermore, the incomes are distributed unevenly since the median income per inhabitant is lower than the mean income.

Income tax (euros – 2013)
Source : Statistics Belgium (FPS Economy)

In 2014, 67% of the Region's 1,163,486 inhabitants were between 15 and 64 years old. This percentage thus corresponds with the persons 'of working age'. In this group, 67% are actually available for the labour market (« active population » or « working population ») and the unemployment rate amounts to 18.5%.

According to Actiris, there are 110,336 jobseekers who don't have a job (in 2014).

Socio-economic status of the population in the age category 15-64 year old, in the BCR
Source : Statistics Belgium (FPS Economy), according to the Workforce Survey

Economic activities and employment

There were almost 690,000 jobs in the Brussels-Capital Region in 2013, and this figure was growing steadily until 2011, although there was a dip in 2012 (+2% compared with 2009). The Region is characterised by a dominant tertiary services sector (services), representing 92.8% in 2013.

Number of jobs in the Brussels-Capital Region per sector
Source : NBB Belgostat, according to ICN-INR. Splitted according to the NACE codes 2008.

In 2014, the Region had 94,436 businesses of which approximately a quarter (21,076) had employees. Of these, 89% employed less than 20 persons and 88% belonged to the service sector.

Brussels' businesses with employees, in 2014: splitted per business sector and according to the number of employees
Source : BISA according to FPS Economy – Statistics Belgium, cross-referenced with ONSS-RSZ/VAT


The value-added of the Region (gross value added at current basic prices) amounted to more than €64 billion in 2013. It was essentially linked to tertiary activities (91%), represented primarily by financial and insurance services, public administrations, specialist, scientific and technical activities, as well as wholesale and retail trade, and car repairs.

Datum van de update: 29/05/2020