Gross domestic product per capita
Gross domestic product per capita decreased in 2020
GDP per capita tends to increase. However, the Covid-19 crisis and a whole series of restrictive measures are causing an unprecedented decline in economic activity in 2020. As a result, GDP per capita has fallen by 10%. Compared to 2003, GDP per capita was still 32% higher in 2020.
Commuting has a powerful impact on the GDP of the regions
In Belgium, GDP per capita is highest in the Brussels-Capital Region (59,500 euro PPS in 2020), mainly due to the establishment of major administrative and business headquarters. This is followed by the Flemish Region (34,200 euro PPS). GDP per capita is lowest in the Walloon Region (24,400 euro PPS). Belgium as a whole has a GDP per capita of 36,600 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 various 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 amounts to 36,600 euro PPS, 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 39% lower there.
Flemish GDP per capita among the top half of the European Union
In 2020, GDP per capita (without a correction for commuter movements) in the Flemish Region was higher than the European Union average (EU27: 29,700 euro PPS). The top countries are Luxembourg (77,600 euro PPS) and Ireland (57,400 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 its neighbours, the Netherlands or Germany, but higher than that of France. Bulgaria is at the bottom of the ranking with 15,700 euro PPS, which is nearly one fifth of the Luxembourg PPS.
All EU27-countries saw a decline of their GDP per capita in 2020.
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.