Social support

In 2018, 92,9% of the population aged 15 and over in Belgium reported to be able to rely on relatives and friends if necessary. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, social support must not decrease.

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Social support - Belgium and international comparison

persons reporting to be able to count on relatives and friends if necessary

percentage of population aged 15 years and over

 20052010201320152016201720182018//20052018//2013
Belgium93.593.190.988.592.992.292.90.00.4
Germany96.493.993.192.690.689.290.6-0.5-0.6
France94.094.390.889.688.593.288.5-0.5-0.5
Netherlands94.795.792.587.992.693.792.6-0.20.0
//: Average Growth Rates

For some years (2006, 2007 and 2009), data are not available for all countries.

Gallup World Poll (2019), based on Helliwell, J., Layard, R. & Sachs, J. (2019), World Happiness Report 2018, New York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Definition: share of the Belgian population (aged 15 or more) giving a positive answer to the question of the Gallup World Poll: “Do you have family or friends who can help you if needed ?” The indicator is calculated by the FPB on the basis of data from the Gallup World Poll. Since these data are based on surveys, a margin of uncertainty must be taken into account. Data on confidence intervals are not made publicly available.

Goal: social support must not decrease.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include goal 16: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. Social support, i.e. having family and friends, is a major contribution to peaceful and inclusive societies.

The Federal Long-Term Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development includes as a first challenge “A society that promotes social cohesion” (Belgian Official Gazette, 08/10/2013). To contribute to this social cohesion it is considered that there is an implicit objective that the proportion of respondents reporting having social contacts at least once a week, as a measure of social capital, cannot decrease.

International comparison: the share of individuals who can rely on family and friends if needed is larger in Belgium (92.7%) than in the Netherlands (92.6%), Germany (90.6%) and France (88.5%) in 2018. Above all, a high volatility is noticeable, with changing positions and relatively small differences. Given the subjective nature of this indicator, comparisons between countries should be interpreted with caution.

UN indicator: the selected indicator does not correspond to any monitoring indicator for the SDGs but is related to goal 16. Social support, i.e. having family and friends, is a major contribution to peaceful and inclusive societies.

Sources

  • General

    • SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals: United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, document A/RES/70/1.

    • Indicators: United Nations (2017), Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, document A/RES/71/313.

    • UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ (consulted on 23/10/2018).

    • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 23/10/2018).
  • Specific

More information is available in French and Dutch.