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A - D


Active labour force
Refers to the people on job market who are employed.

Activity ratio
Measures the portion of the population of working age (between 18 and 64 years) in employment or seeking employment.
In this study, it is defined by the ratio (workers + unemployed) / (population 18-64 years of age).

ARMA model
An ARMA model (Autoregressive Moving Average) is an econometric model used for the description and forecast of chronological series. It models the current observation as a weighted average of a certain number of past observations plus a weighted average of a certain number of statistical errors on past dates.

At-risk-of-poverty rate
The at-risk-of-poverty rate is defined as the percentage of people living in a household with an equivalent income of less than 60% of the equivalent median national income.
The “median” income is the amount dividing the distribution of income into two equal parts: one half of persons with income above the median and the other half with income below the median. The notion of “equivalent” income refers to the fact that the household income is corrected according to the size and composition of the household to enable a comparison of the income and the standard of living it represents to be made between the various family make-ups. It is calculated as follows: a weighting of ‘1’ is allocated for the first adult, ‘0.5’ for the other adults (aged 14 years and over) and ‘0.3’ for persons under 14 years of age. This means that the income of a couple with two children (under 14 years of age) is divided by ‘2.1’ (1+0.5+0.3+0.3) to be compared with the income of a single person.

Business death rate
The business death rate is the ratio between, on the one hand, the number of closures of VAT-registered businesses and, on the other hand, the average number of active VAT-registered businesses during the period under consideration.

Business start-up rate
The business start-up rate is the ratio between, on the one hand, the number of new VAT payers and re-registrations of companies subject to VAT and, on the other hand, the average number of active VAT-registered businesses during the period under consideration.

Chained euros
“Means to measure the volume growth after removing the effect of price changes in the calculation of various economic aggregates (such as GDP, investment, household consumption, etc).” (Source: NBB glossary).
Changes in volume/changes in value
“To observe actual changes in economic activity (production, consumption, etc.), the effects of inflation must be taken into account.
A distinction is, therefore, made between changes at current prices (without correction for the effect of inflation) and changes at constant prices (with correction for the effect of inflation). The first case involves a change in value, while the second involves a change in volume” (Source: INSEE (French national institute of statistics).

Coefficient of variation
A measure of the relative dispersion: it is calculated as being the ratio between the standard deviation and the average.

Coincident indicator of economic activity
The coincident indicator of economic activity, based on monthly data, reflects current activity trends in the Brussels-Capital Region.
The availability of this composite indicator over a more recent period enables the Regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) business cycle to be extended until February 2010, whereas the Regional GDP is only available on an annual basis with a two year delay..
To calculate this indicator, we use the cyclical components of those sectors exhibiting the cyclical change most similar to that of the Regional GDP. Production in the Brussels-Capital Region is highly specialised in services and this “coincident” indicator has been constructed so as to reflect the services-based structure of the Region.
More specifically, it aggregates the cyclical movement of turnover from five service activities (i.e. since the July 2009 edition of the barometer: “wholesale trade”, “post and telecommunications”,“IT activity”,“ancillary transport services” and “real estate activity”) as well as the cyclical movement of outstanding credit granted by banks established in Belgium to non-financial Belgian companies. The composite indicator obtained in this way tallies with the Region’s GDP business cycle. It can, therefore, serve as a reference series for the next step, which aims to establish a leading indicator of economic activity.

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E - L

Refers to the departure from a territory of persons native to that territory to another territory to live and work there.

Employed population
“The employed population, as defined by the International Labour Office (ILO), consists of persons (aged 15 years or older) who have worked (even if only for one hour) during a given week (called the reference week), whether as employees, self-employed, employers or assistants in the family business or farm. It also includes persons with a job but from which they are temporarily absent for reasons such as illness (less than one year), paid leave, maternity leave, a labour dispute, training, bad weather, etc. Enlisted soldiers, apprentices and paid interns form part of the employed population. ” (INSEE definition)
A region’s employed population includes all workers residing in that region. This concept is not to be confused with domestic employment, which encompasses all persons working within a territory, whether they live there or not.

Employment rate
The employment rate is defined as the ratio between the employed population and the population of working age (generally defined as being the number of persons aged from 15 to 64 years).

Enclosed type-housing development
Refers to terraced houses (two façades).

Refers to the population born under a nationality other than Belgian, or whose parents are the product of immigration.

Gender gap
This notion reflects the difference between women and men in any area in terms of level of participation, access, rights, pay or benefits. In most cases, it corresponds to a difference between the value posted for men and that posted for women (e.g. the difference between the rate of employment of men and that of women).

Process involving the reinvestment in historical, run-down districts inhabited by a disadvantaged population by a better off population, often young childless adults of higher cultural and/or economic status (examples: Docklands in London, rue Antoine Dansaert in Brussels).

Higher education diploma
Encompasses all university-level degrees (both short and long cycle) as well as all non-university higher education diplomas (both short and long cycle).

Refers to the entry, into a territory, of persons not native to that territory to live there.

Inner (first) ring
Refers to the districts located between the boulevards of the inner ring road and the middle ring road of boulevard Churchill (in the south), the military boulevards (in the east: Général Jacques, Général Meiser, Brand Whitlock, August Reyers, Generaal Wahis) and the railway track (in the west). In terms of communes, it is generally associated with Anderlecht, Etterbeek, Ixelles, Koekelberg, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Schaerbeek, Saint-Gilles and Saint-Josse-ten-Noode. Due to its extensive spatial lay-out, the City of Brussels is considered separately.

Intra- or extra-family transfers
Financial transfers linked to the distribution of earnings gained from work, whether through social security (unemployment, pension, disability, etc.) or within families (from workers to other members of the household or the extended family).

Using a function whose values at certain points are known, interpolation enables the value taken by this function at another particular point included between two known points to be approximated.

Leading indicator of economic activity
The leading indicator of economic activity precedes the coincident indicator by a few months. In the past, this lead was a year and a half. However, since the recent economic crisis and the last revision of Regional GDP, its leading character has been substantially reduced.
Predicting economic developments in the Region remains, therefore, a challenge in these recessionary times. For the time being, the leading indicator is constructed on the basis of the economic cycle of two series which are usually leading in nature compared to the reference series.
It firstly involves the forecasts of entrepreneurs in the business services sector regarding their business according to the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) survey. Secondly, the industrial new orders index according to the Federal Public Service Economy is taken into account. These series were chosen as they are economically relevant, available quickly on a monthly basis and display a marked leading character with respect to changes in GDP. In addition, a dichotomous variable has been added which represents the period of economic crisis. It has a value of 1 from September 2008 and 0 before then.
It should be noted that, as with any leading indicator, it is the trend (upwards or downwards) rather than an exact figure at a given time period which should command the reader’s attention.

Leading job market indicator
The leading job market indicator forecasts the short-term variations in the mismatch between labour supply and demand within the Brussels-Capital Region, approximated by the cyclical component of the number of Brussels-based job seekers.
It is estimated based on:

  • The synthetic curve of economic activity in Brussels, calculated by the National Bank of Belgium (NBB);
  • Employment forecasts of business people in the construction sector - civil engineering works and road building in Belgium;
  • The difference between the number of job offers received and the number of job offers satisfied within the Brussels job market, which indicates the level of accommodation or tension existing on the job market;
  • A dummy variable incorporating changes in policies in the area of unemployment between the middle of 2006 and the middle of 2007;

It has an optimal forecast horizon of 13 months.

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M - R


Modal ages
The age most represented within a population. The mode is the most frequent value within a statistical distribution.

Modal value
In a statistical series, the modal value is the most frequent value of a variable. Example: if in an apartment building, five apartments have two bedrooms, one apartment has three bedrooms and three apartments have one bedroom, the modal value of the variable “number of bedrooms” is two.

National Bank of Belgium business survey
The National Bank of Belgium conducts qualitative business surveys of a sample of company CEOs every month to get an indication of their assessment of the current and future economic situation.
The survey includes such varied questions as their assessment of stocks and factory orders, of growth in both or even their forecasts in relation to employment and demand.
Calculation of each of the series is predominantly based on the sum of the balance of replies (difference between the percentage of respondents who declared an increase and those who declared a reduction).
Since the first of January 2007, the size of the sample relating to the Brussels-Capital Region has been increased in order to better reflect the realities of the Capital.

The fact, for a natural or legal person, indeed also for a thing, of coming within the jurisdiction of the civil law of a particular state.

Natural population growth
Difference between the number of births and the number of deaths within a territory or a population.

Neighbourhood Monitoring
Neighbourhood Monitoring is a dynamic, interactive tool which enables the socioeconomic situation of the 145 neighbourhoods in the Brussels-Capital Region to be monitored both over time and per area.
Managed by the IBSA, the objective of this tool is to provide the public with a selection of indicators which characterise the dynamics and territorial disparities within the Brussels-Capital Region, using maps, tables and graphics.
It illustrates the state of the neighbourhoods in the Region according to different themes: demographics, housing, job market, income, mobility, health, etc.

Net migration
Difference between arrivals (or entries) and departures (exits) of inhabitants into and from a given territory.

Official unemployment rate
The unemployment rate is the ratio between the employed population and the total active population. This rate represents the level of imbalance between labour supply and demand. It can be calculated by means of Labour Force Surveys, coordinated by Eurostat, and then corresponds to the harmonised unemployment rate as defined by the International Labour Office. It can also be calculated using administrative data, either on the basis of registration as an “unemployed job-seeker” (UJS) with a job placement service (VDAB, FOREM, ADG or ACTIRIS in Belgium). This is referred to as the “official unemployment rate”.

Open type housing development

Complex composed of four façade houses separated from each other by lateral clearances which are not built upon. 

Outer (second) ring
The term ‘second ring’ refers to the neighbourhoods located on the outer edge of the city, beyond the middle ring road of Boulevard Churchill (in the south), the military boulevards (in the east: Général Jacques, Général Meiser, Brand Whitlock, Auguste Reyers, Generaal Wahis) and the railway tracks (in the west). In terms of communes, it is generally associated with Auderghem, Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Evere, Ganshoren, Forest, Jette, Uccle, Watermael-Boitsfort, Woluwé-Saint-Lambert and Woluwé-Saint-Pierre.

Outstanding credit
Total amount of credit granted by banks to non-financial companies as of the present date and which is not in arrears.

Area of Brussels located within the boulevards of the inner ring road. It was formerly the city which was protected by the city walls. The name of the area comes from the shape formed by the route of the ancient walls.

Percentage point
A percentage point is the absolute unit of difference between two figures expressed in percent. Thus, there is a difference of 3.3 percentage points between a rate of unemployment of 12.3 % in one year and 15.6 % in another.

A phenomenon consisting of city expansion and dilution of the urban landscape, peri-urbanisation results from the concentration of employment within urban centres and inhabitants’ need for space, meaning they have gradually settled in the outskirts, thereby pushing out the city boundary.

Poor crescent
Zone which, for several decades, has had a high concentration of the most economically disadvantaged populations. It encompasses the neighbourhoods of the northern and western inner ring, which are some of the poorest in the Brussels Region and form a crescent around the city centre. The neighbourhoods in this zone are:

  • Inside the Pentagon, to the west of the Nord-Midi axis plus les Marolles;
  • The east of Anderlecht and Molenbeek-Saint-Jean (between the railway line and the canal);
  • In the north, the commune of Saint-Josse, the west of Schaerbeek and the industrial zones along the canal;
  • In the south, lower Saint-Gilles and lower Forest.

A quadrant generally refers to the result of the division of an area into four. For example, the south-eastern quadrant of the Brussels-Capital Region encompasses the neighbourhoods located in the eastern half of the southern half of the Region.

Quarter-on-quarter change
A quarter-on-quarter change compares the value of a variable at quarterly intervals. The quarter-on-quarter change in a variable X at a given quarter T can, therefore, be calculated using the following formula:

Rate of change= (XT-XT-1)/XT-1

Refi or refinancing rate
The refinancing rate set by a central bank is the interest rate at which financial institutions may borrow from the central bank.

In the representation of a city using a diagram of concentric zones, refers to neighbourhoods which share a certain amount of social and urban planning homogeneity and which form a ring within the city.

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S - Z


Second ring
The notion of the second ring corresponds to the following parts of the territory: Anderlecht and Molenbeek beyond the gare de l'Ouest, Auderghem, Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Laeken Nord, Neder-Over-Heembeek and Haren, Evere, Ganshoren, Ixelles beyond Boulevard Général Jacques, Jette Nord, Schaerbeek beyond Boulevard Lambermont, Uccle, Watermael-Boitsfort, Woluwé Saint-Lambert and Woluwé Saint-Pierre.

Tendency of a population to continuously reside in the same place.
Horizontal and vertical segregation
Occupational segregation concerns the distribution of tasks between those who will be required to carry them out and implies a process of differentiation of these tasks between the sexes. Horizontal segregation refers to the concentration of tasks reserved for women in certain sectors of activity or in specific professions. Vertical segregation relates to the under-representation of women at senior levels such that women especially have access to and are confined to subordinate jobs.

Semi open type housing development
Combination of terraced and three- façade houses.

A shift-share analysis consists of breaking down a general growth differential (between the Region and the Kingdom in our case) into two terms:

  • An initial term, called structural, presumes that the growth rates observed for each sector are those observed at a national level, with the Regional difference only coming from the differing weights of the different sectors in the economic activity;
  • A second term (called effectiveness) presumes that the weights of each sector are equal to those observed at Regional level, with the difference coming from the growth differential observed for each of the sectors.

The first term measures the portion of the growth differential attributable to the fact that the structure of the activity is different; the second term measures the portion of the growth differential attributable to the differences in performance in the sectors on a like-for-like basis.

Spatial structure of the Brussels-Capital Region
In broad outline, the Brussels area is, like in many large cities, the result of the superimposition of two basic structures:

  • A concentric structure, linked to the historical development of the urban space according to a circle of increasing diameter and
  • A quadrant-shaped structure, linked to the reproduction, throughout the agglomeration’s development and under pressure from differential ground rent, of a socioeconomic divide opposing, on the one hand, the valley floor and its western lower gradient side, originally damper, less healthy and more popular and where the industrial developments of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries came to be concentrated and, on the other hand, a well-off south-eastern quadrant, towards which the middle-class neighbourhoods fleeing the central working-class districts began to spread earliespatial structurer and more extensively and which developed little by little from the more aristocratic, steeper, healthier and topographically dominant city of the right hand side.


The combination of these two structures, reduced, within the Region, to five major sub-spaces, were used in this study as a basis framework: the western zone (in pink), the western central zone (in red), the eastern central zone (in blue), the intermediate eastern zone (in green) and the external eastern zone (in yellow). 

Standard deviation
Measures the dispersion of a series of values around their mean.

Sub-division of a building
Conversion of a building originally designed as a single-family dwelling into several apartments, furnished flats or rooms for student accommodation.

The notion of under-employment can cover different concepts. Within the context of this report, the notion of under-employment is linked with the different forms of exclusion from employment. Indeed, a fringe of the population is neither employed nor unemployed but is in what are known as inactive categories. This involves situations where the persons do not fall within the official categories of the unemployed, such as, for example: workers on leave for specific reasons (parental leave, providing assistance to a person undergoing palliative care or to a family member suffering from a serious illness) or availing of the time credit scheme, unemployed persons benefitting from an exemption in order to return to education or for social or family reasons, etc.
The notion of under-employment can also be associated with persons whose numbers of hours of work are less than the normal working hours and who are looking for additional work. The notion of under-employment associated with working hours is used by the International Labour Office. In this report, it has been covered in the section dealing with part-time work through the concept of involuntary part-time work.

Inactivity of a person actually present on the job market (of working age and who is seeking paid work).

Unemployed job-seeker (UJS)
Person without paid employment registered as a job seeker with a public employment service (Actiris definition).

Unemployment rate
Measures the portion of unemployed persons in the active population.
In this study, it is defined by the ratio (unemployed) / (workers + unemployed).

“Win-Win” recruitment plan
In force since 1 January 2010, the “Win-Win” recruitment plan awards employers a job subsidy of up to 1,100 euros per month for a maximum of 12 months as well as a reduction in employer social security contributions.
The Win-Win plan runs until the end of 2011, but, since the 1st of January 2011, the aforementioned benefits have been reduced (duration and amount of subsidy).

Year-on-year change
A year-on-year change compares the value of a variable at two dates, one year apart.
Using quarterly data, the year-on-year change in a variable X at a given quarter T can, therefore, be calculated using the following formula:

Rate of change= (XT-XT-1)/XT-1

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