Social contacts

  • Majority of Flemish citizens have frequent contacts with neighbours, family and friends

    The majority of Flemish citizens say that they have frequent social contacts. In 2018, 69% of Flemish citizens aged between 18 and 75 stated that they had contact with neighbours at least once a week; 61% with family and 57% with friends or acquaintances. 

     

    Between 2000 and 2018, the frequency of contacts with neighbours has always been highest, with the frequency of contacts with friends or acquaintances being lowest. 

     

    Since 2000, no clear positive or negative evolution can be seen in 2 of these 3 forms of social contact. The figures for contacts with neighbours are always around 70%. Contacts with family are always just over 60%. The figures for contacts with friends or acquaintances has evolved: between 2005 and 2016, the proportion of people with at least weekly contact had decreased, but from 2016 onwards the figures increased slightly. 

  • Elderly people have more contact with neighbours, young people more often with friends

    Women have more frequent contact with neighbours than men. On the other hand, men have more frequent contact with friends or acquaintances. 

     

    In terms of age, young people have more frequent contact with friends or acquaintances than elderly people. On the other hand, elderly people have more contact with their neighbours. 

     

    People who live with a partner (with or without children) have more frequent contact with neighbours and family than the other household groups. People who live with their parents and people living alone have the highest percentages of contacts with friends or acquaintances. 

     

    Differences by educational attainment levels remain fairly limited. However, people with a low level of education have slightly more frequent contacts with neighbours and those with a higher level of education have more frequent contacts with family and friends. 

  • City dwellers have more contact with friends, less with family

    People living in rural areas engage most in contacts with family, while people from large cities engage least in this type of contact. The opposite is true for contacts with friends or acquaintances: these contacts are lowest in the rural areas. As for contacts with neighbours, the differences by place of residence are less pronounced. 

Sources

Statistics Flanders: SCS survey 

Publication date

5 February 2019

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