Income inequality: income quintile share ratio (S80/S20)

  • Income of richest 20% 3.4 times higher than income of poorest 20%

    In 2020, the income quintile share ratio in the Flemish Region stood at 3.4. This means that the household income of the 20% richest inhabitants is 3.4 times higher than the household income of the 20% poorest inhabitants.

    The above figures were calculated on the basis of the total disposable income of households in the year prior to the survey. Thus, the 2020 EU-SILC survey figures refer to the household incomes in 2019.

    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. Though 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 the Flemish Region (3.3). There was a more marked difference with the Brussels-Capital Region (4.7). The income quintile share 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 27 countries of the European Union (EU27) in 2019 was 5.0. 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.

    Figures for 2020 are not yet available for all EU countries.


Statbel: EU-SILC-survey 
Eurostat: Database 


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


Income quintile share 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 of all inhabitants is compared to that of the 20% poorest.

Publication date

20 September 2021

Next update

September 2022

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