Belgium is a federal state comprising three communities, three regions, and four language areas.  For each of these subdivision types, the sum of their circumscribed surfaces composes the entire country; in other words, the types overlap.

The three communities are:

  • the Dutch-speaking Vlaamse Gemeenschap (“Flemish Community”);
  • the French-speaking Communauté Française (“French Community”);
  • the German-speaking Deutschsprachige Gemeinschaft (“German-speaking Community”).

The three regions are:

  • the Flemish Region (Flanders), subdivided into five provinces;
  • the Walloon Region (Wallonia), subdivided into five provinces;
  • the Brussels-Capital Region (Brussels).

The four language areas are:

  • the Dutch language area
  • the Bilingual area Brussels-Capital
  • the French language area
  • the German language area

The information below has been divided by region, thus by Flemish, Walloon or Brussels-Capital Region.


Policy responses

Poverty and health inequality issues are explicitly addressed at the regional level, as action plans are in place for all three regions and evaluations have been carried out. Also, cross-sectoral approaches have been set up.

An overview of policy responses addressing health inequalities in each of the three regions can be found in our Policy Database.


Good practices

An overview of local and regional projects and initiatives that are currently taking place or that have successfully been finalized, and that are addressing health inequality issues, can be found in our Good Practice Database.

Key actors

Please find below an overview of key actors in Belgium working on health inequality issues:





Are you aware of any other key actors that should be added to this list?
Please let us know!

Key resources

Please find below a short overview of key documents and resources (produced at regional level) addressing health inequality issues in Belgium. More publications can be found in our Publications Database.


  • Besluit van de Vlaamse Regering tot vaststelling van de operationele doelstellingen van de Centra voor Leerlingenbegeleiding – Order of the Flemish Government establishing the operational objectives of the Centre for Educational Guidance
    It is the legislative document on the Centres for Student Guidance. Preventive health care as one of the four core domains that should be covered by the centres. The centres’ role is threefold: (1) assist schools in developing healthy school policies, (2) screening to facilitate early detection of health problems and developmental disorders (e.g. auditory and visual acuity, puberty onset, obesity), (3) free individual counseling for 3-18 year old pupils and their parents.
  • De Sociale Staat van Vlaanderen 2011 – The Social State of Affairs in Flanders 2011
    This publication results of a multi annual research project at the request of the Flemish parliament to assess the social situation in Flanders. It systematically includes an assessment of the health situation, in comparative perspective.
  • Onderzoeksrapport van de Vlaamse Liga tegen Kanker – Research report of the Flemish League against Cancer
    Yearly report consisting of studies which underpin and inspire the advocacy work of the Flemish Cancer League. Several issues related to health equity have been treated.




Are you aware of any other key resources that should be added to this list?
Please let us know!

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