Consumption of agricultural and horticultural products


Household Budget Survey by Statbel, processed by Statistics Flanders


Households are asked to write down all their expenses in a spending booklet during 1 month. All expenses are grouped into different categories afterwards. This statistic examines the ‘Food’ category. This can be further refined into sub-categories: ‘Bread and cereal products’, ‘Meat’, ‘Fish and shellfish’, ‘Milk, cheese and eggs’, ‘Oils and fats’, ‘Fruit’, ‘Vegetables’, ‘Sugar, jam, honey, chocolate and confectionery’ and a residual category ‘Other’.

Until previous editions, families had to fill in the spending booklet for a month. From 2020, that period was reduced to 14 days.

Remarks on quality

EU-HBS (European Union – Household Budget Survey) is a survey on income and expenditure coordinated by the European statistical office Eurostat and for Belgium carried out by the Belgian statistical office Statbel. It is an important tool for describing consumption habits of the population, both at Belgian and European level.

The aim of the survey is to create a general framework for the production of statistical information on household consumption at national and European level, based on transversal data (amount, composition, etc.) on the expenditure items in their budgets.

Assisted by the pollster, the participating households have to fill in the following documents: a questionnaire and a spending booklet in which they note down all their expenses during 14 days. Until 2010, just over 300 households were surveyed each month, which resulted in a random sample of around 3,700 households each year.

From 2012 onwards, the survey is held every two years instead of every year, but with a larger sample (5,000 participating households per year). Moreover, a separate sample is no longer used but the sample has been integrated into the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The questionnaire has been substantially shortened, thus reducing the survey burden for households. In addition, the survey takes a more modern approach: the pollsters now work with tablet PCs. The families can also record their expenses in an internet application instead of on paper.

The households that participate properly in the survey (i.e. all the documents are fully completed) are given a financial compensation.

In 2018, the response was 9% of the contacted households via the LFS, 30% of the contacted households via the HBS 2016 and 6% of the contacted households via the National Register.

Frequency: every year (from 1999 to 2010) and every two years (from 2012 onwards).


Statbel: Household Budget Survey


Ask your question

To the statistics