Share of industry in gross value added and employment

  • Industry accounts for 16% of gross value added and 12% of employment

    In 2020, industry in the Flemish Region accounted for a share of 15.8% of the overall gross value added and 12.4% of overall employment.

    Between 2005 and 2020, the importance of industry decreased both in terms of gross value added and employment. The share in the gross value added dropped by 5.1 percentage points between 2005 and 2020. The decrease was strongest up to 2009 (financial-economic crisis). The decrease was less important in subsequent years.

    The share in employment dropped by 4.7 percentage points, a decrease which also occurred more gradually over time.

    It was mainly the investment goods sector (production of electric and electronic equipment, machines, devices and tools and transport equipment) that lost importance. For the consumer goods (food and clothing) and intermediary goods sectors (chemistry, pharmaceutical, metal industry) there was no drop (gross value added) or the drop was less pronounced (overall employment).

  • Importance of industry in the Flemish Region in line with European average

    In 2017, the share of the Flemish Region’s industry in the gross value added was 16.6%. With 14.6%, the Walloon Region had a lesser share while in the Brussels-Capital Region, with its typical service economy, that share was much lower (2.5%). The share of industry in employment shows a similar pattern for the three regions: 12.6% in the Flemish Region compared with 10.3% in the Walloon Region and 2.7% in the Brussels-Capital Region.

    In 2017, the difference between the Flemish Region and the average of the European Union (EU27/EU28) was not very large, with a slightly lower share of industry for the EU in gross value added along with a higher share for the EU in employment.

    Industry is clearly more important in the economies of the Eastern European countries. The Czech Republic in particular performed well by both criteria. As for the neighbouring countries, Germany’s industry registered an important part in its gross value added and employment. In France and the Netherlands, industry was relatively less important than in the Flemish Region.


Institute of National Accounts (INR): Regional accounts 
Eurostat: National Accounts – detailed breakdowns 


Gross value added:  the difference between the market value of the goods and services produced in one year and the market value of the goods and services used in the production process. 
Industry: the industry sector includes the extraction of minerals and the processing industry but not petroleum refining. 
Employment:  the total number of persons (salaried and self-employed) working in a country or region. 

Publication date

12 January 2021

Next update

September 2021

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