Income inequality: income quintile ratio (S80/S20)

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

    In 2018, the income quintile 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 income quintile ratio has remained almost stable since 2004, fluctuating between 3.4 and 3.7. 

  • Flemish income inequality remains low in EU context

    The income quintile ratio in the Walloon Region was in 2018 slightly higher (3.8) than in Flanders (3.4). There was a more marked difference with the Brussels-Capital Region (4.9). The income quintile ratio in Belgium was 3.8 in 2018. 


    In the European context, Flemish income inequality remains low. The average income quintile ratio in the countries of the European Union (EU) in 2018 was 5.2. Flanders has a value similar to that of the EU countries with the lowest income quintile ratios, namely Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Finland. 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

25 June 2019

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