The cost of living in Belgium is relatively high but still considered affordable, including the cost of living in Brussels, when compared to some of its neighbors. Though the cost of living in Belgium is definitely up there, it is nowhere near as expensive as some other western European countries. This guide will help you navigate the costs of living from healthcare and food to housing, transportation, education, Good Antwerpen woman looking for one man much more.
Much of the Belgian economy depends on the export of manufactured goods to the rest of the EU, with shipments of the raw materials coming in from neighboring countries as well. This has allowed Belgians to enjoy a high standard of living. If you are concerned about steep living costs, keep in mind that the Belgian social security and tax systems are very advanced, meaning that income disparity is much less of an issue than in some other countries. Another thing to remember is that with higher costs of living come higher standards of living. Belgium is among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of standard of living, according to the OECD.
The standard of living in Brussels remains high, and the cost of housing and public transportation are generally lower than neighboring European cities. Bruges is the famous capital of West Flanders, a province in the Flemish part of Belgium.
Antwerp is the largest city in the northern, or Flemish, part of Belgium, as well as the largest Belgian city in terms of population. It is also a huge business and fashion center, which hikes up prices but also the standard of living. Ghent is the capital of East Flanders. It is possible to buy and own property, although most expats choose to rent in Belgium instead. When you compare the average renting prices with the average salary in Belgiumrenting a house with two bathrooms and three bedrooms is feasible.
Alternatively, expats might choose to rent a serviced apartments on a monthly basis through a property portal such as BBFwhich has flats in Brussels and other cities in Belgium. Brussels has higher rent prices and more competition for rentals, especially from foreigners. Of the four main Belgian cities, Bruges is the cheapest in terms of renting a three-bedroom apartment in the city center.
One thing to note when looking to rent in Belgium is that most contracts are for nine years. in our guides to renting in Belgium or renting in Brussels.
about buying property in Belgium. Depending on the area that you live in, these prices could rise. about utilities in Belgium.
Most Belgian cities are well connected by public transport in Belgium. These passes can be used on every mode of public transportation. In other major cities, the starting rate varies but the rate per kilometer is generally in the same range. Public schools in Belgium may seem tricky to navigate at first, but keep in mind that the Belgian school system has the advantage of being located in the same country as the European Union headquarters.
Depending on where you live in Belgium, your children will be taught in either Dutch, French, or German, although there are many international schools in Belgium.
Cost of living in brussels
In a private or international school, you will have more control over what and how your child is taught. Some schools are bilingual, while some teach exclusively in English.
Studying in Belgium is also much cheaper than in the United States and many other countries. There are both state-run and private Belgian childcare centres, although tax deductions are available for both. The spots go very quickly though, and it is recommended to start the application process early in your pregnancy. Childcare costs vary depending on which part of Belgium you are in and your personal income. Keep in mind that this is based on household income and is tax-deductible to an extent. Everyone living in Belgium is entitled to child benefits. The monthly prices in are the following:.
Additional allowances based on age are added once the child reaches six years.
Find out more in our guide to childcare in Belgium. Everyone in Belgium is required to have Belgian health insuranceeither through the state system, privately, or a combination of both. Healthcare in Belgium is paid via social security and health insurance funds, allowing patients to choose their own Belgian doctors and hospitals in Belgium. Although you generally pay upfront, a good portion of healthcare costs are reimbursed. Those with state insurance can opt for supplementary private insurances to get all the money back from treatments.
about health insurance in Belgium. Groceries are a hard thing to gauge in terms of prices because of the variables involved, such as the size of the household, dietary needs, and favorite brands.
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Belgium, and its capital city of Brussels in particular, is known for its culinary prowess. Brussels has been compared to such cities as New York, Hong Kong, and Paris because of the sheer quality and variety of dining experiences it has to offer. The prices, however, are also up there for fine dining. But you can easily find cheaper options, so those who love to eat out will not have to limit themselves. Belgium is famous for having the highest tax rates in all of Europe, which contributes ificantly to the cost of living in Belgium.
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The state collects income and company tax, while municipal authorities handle municipal and property taxes. Certain expats may be able to apply for non-resident tax status in Belgium, where they only have to pay tax on income earned in Belgium. in our guides to taxes in Belgium and Belgian inheritance tax. Everyone living and working in Belgium is expected to contribute to the Belgian social security system.
Your employer generally arranges this for you. If you are self-employed, you can also get social security but must register for it yourself.
Social security in Belgium consists of seven different things: medical care in the form of reimbursements, pension benefits, family, accident, vacation, work-related injury, and unemployment. in our guide to social security in Belgium. Those who live and work in Belgium are also entitled to a pension. The pension in Belgium is usually based on how much you earned and the years you worked.
More is explained in our guide to Belgian pensions. Have a cookie Expatica uses technology such as cookies and scripts to personalize content andprovide social media features, and analyze our traffic. You can of course change your mind and withdraw your consent at any time, by returning to this site after clearing the cookies on your computer or device.
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NOTE: These settings will only apply to the browser and device you are currently using. Search for:. Cost of living in Belgium: how much do you need? Last update on May 25, This guide to the cost of living in Belgium includes: General cost of living in Belgium Brussels cost of living Bruges cost of living Antwerp cost of living Ghent cost of living Housing costs in Belgium Utility costs in Belgium Cost of public transport in Belgium Costs to study in Belgium Costs of childcare in Belgium Healthcare costs in Belgium Costs of groceries in Belgium Cost of dining out in Belgium Tax costs in Belgium Social security and pension costs in Belgium The costs of living in Belgium If you are concerned about steep living costs, keep in mind that the Belgian social security and tax systems are very advanced, meaning that income disparity is much less of an issue than in some other countries.
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