Income inequality: income quintile ratio (S80/S20)

  • Income of richest 20% 3.3 times higher than income of poorest 20%

    In 2019, the income quintile share ratio in the Flemish Region stood at 3.3. This means that the household income of the 20% richest inhabitants is 3.3 times higher than the household income of the 20% poorest inhabitants.

    The EU-SILC survey on which these figures are based has recently been radically revised. As a result, caution is required when making comparisons with the results of previous years. It can be said that the income quintile ratio has remained more or less stable since 2004.

  • Flemish income inequality remains low in EU context

    The income quintile share ratio in the Walloon Region was in 2019 slightly higher (3.6) than in Flanders (3.3). There was a more marked difference with the Brussels-Capital Region (4.7). The income quintile ratio in Belgium was 3.6 in 2019.

    In the European context, the Belgian income inequality remains low. The average income quintile share ratio in the 28 countries of the European Union (EU28) in 2019 was 5.1. Belgium belongs to the group of EU countries with the lowest income inequality ratio, as is the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Finland and the Netherlands. Bulgaria had the highest income inequality, followed by Romania and Lithuania.


Statbel: EU-SILC-survey 
Eurostat: Database 


Household income: the disposable household income consists of all income of the household members derived from economic activity, assets, property ownership and from social transfers (social security and welfare benefits). 


Income quintile ratio (S80/S20): an internationally widely used measure of income distribution in a country or region, whereby the share of the income of the 20% richest (based on household income) in the total income is compared to that of the 20% poorest. 

Publication date

22 December 2020

Next update

October 2021

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