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Belgian homes are more spacious than EU average – and less eco-friendly

21:45 19/12/2022

Bigger is not always better – and apparently it isn’t always greener, either.

While the latest data from Eurostat has showed that Belgian homes tend to be larger than those of their European neighbours, the houses in Belgium are, in general, less environmentally friendly.

Per capita, the average house in Belgium has 2.1 bedrooms, the second highest number in the European Union after Malta (where the average is 2.3 bedrooms).

The average for the bloc is 1.6 bedrooms per inhabitant.

A Belgian household has an average of 2.3 people, which aligns with the European average.

Eurostat data indicated that only 5.9% of Belgians live in an “overcrowded” house, compared to 17.1% of Europeans. The highest overcrowding rates were in Latvia (41.3%), Romania (41%) and Bulgaria (37.9%), with the lowest ones found in Cyprus (2.3%) and Malta (2.9%).

But crowded or not, the ecological footprint of the average Belgian home is high, at an average of 1,137.7kg of greenhouse gases emitted per person.

This includes pollution generated from heating or cooling the home, along with hot water and cooking appliances.

Belgium ranks third from the bottom in terms of homes’ eco-footprints, with the EU average sitting at 675.2kg per person.

Housing data also confirmed the old saying that “Belgians are born with a brick in their belly,” which is to say that they aspire to own and not rent: More than seven out of 10 Belgians (71.3%) own their home.

This is higher than the European average of 69.9%. Romanians are the most likely to be homeowners (95.3%), while Germany has the most renters (50.5%).

Written by Helen Lyons