Gross domestic product per capita
Gross domestic product per capita recovers in 2021
GDP per capita tends to increase. However, the Covid-19 crisis together with a whole series of restrictive measures caused an unprecedented decline in economic activity in 2020. But in 2021 the economy picks up again. GDP per inhabitant is therefore recovering and is approximately back at the level of 2019.
Commuting has a powerful impact on the GDP of the regions
In Belgium, the estimated GDP per capita in 2021 is highest in the Brussels-Capital Region (64,200 euro PPS), mainly due to the establishment of major administrative and business headquarters. The Flemish Region reaches 38,200 euro PPS. GDP per capita is lowest in the Walloon Region (27,200 euro PPS).
In Belgium, many Flemish and Walloon residents commute to the Brussels-Capital Region. By doing so, they contribute to the GDP of the Brussels region, although their income comes to the credit of their place of residence. In contrast to many other countries, commuting in Belgium is much more common between the distinctive regions. This is because the Brussels-Capital Region is relatively small compared to other capital regions. If the employment of commuters is assigned to their place of residence, a more realistic comparison with other countries can be made. In the Flemish Region, GDP taking into account commuter movements is estimated to amount to 40,800 euro PPS in 2021, which is 7% higher than in the traditional calculation without commuter movements. GDP of the Walloon Region would even be 14% higher. These calculations come at the expense of the Brussels-Capital Region. The GDP per capita with a correction for commuting is 40% lower there.
Flemish GDP per capita among the top half of the European Union
In 2021, the estimated GDP per capita (without a correction for commuter movements) in the Flemish Region was higher than the European Union average (EU27: 31,300 euro PPS). The top countries are Luxembourg (83,000 euro PPS) and Ireland (66,200 euro PPS). They perform very well because of the establishment of important administrative and business headquarters.
The Flemish Region’s GDP per capita is lower than that of the Netherlands, roughly equal to that of Germany, but higher than that of France. Bulgaria is at the bottom of the ranking with 17,200 euro PPS, which is nearly one fifth of the Luxembourg GDP.
Gross Domestic Product: the market value of the final goods and services sold in a given country or region in one year.
Purchasing Power Standard: the expression of a monetary aggregate in euro PPS enables a correct international comparison, to compensate for price differences for the same goods and services between countries.