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EU-SILC (Statistics on income and living conditions) is a European survey and an important source for understanding, via a multi-dimensional approach, all factors relating to the social inclusion of households and individuals in society. It should allow comparisons between the various Member States.

Each year, the EU-SILC surveys around 6,000 households in Belgium (including 1,000 in Brussels). This is the number set by Eurostat for the Directorate-General for Statistics and Economic Information; the sample is crucial in calculating the indicators for Belgium's National Action Plan for Social Inclusion (NAPIncl). Given the complexity of most of the indicators, no single indicator can be calculated based on the current sample from the Brussels-Capital Region. Some indicators can potentially be calculated for Wallonie and Vlaanderen, though the possibilities are limited.

This explains why only few NAPIncl indicators based on the EU-SILC are included in the Annual Social Barometer (for example, the at-risk-of-poverty rates). Moreover, the confidence interval of these indicators is so wide that it is impossible to measure the evolution of these indicators.

This problem can only be resolved by extending the sample size for the Brussels-Capital Region. However, there are obstacles to such an oversample. The main hurdles are on two levels:

  • An extension of the sample should be within the organisational capacity of the Directorate-General for Statistics and Economic Information, which is in charge of the survey;
  • Political consultation is necessary on the financing of this extension and the drafting of a distribution code among the various authorities (cf. National Health Survey).

For more information on the EU-SILC survey: http://statbel.fgov.be/silc/