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  • Writer's pictureSean

The Pros and Cons of Living in Belgium

Updated: Jun 18

Moving to Belgium is a great adventure, but it is not without a few considerations. When we’ve talked about other places in the past, they differ from Belgium in the simple way that Belgium is split into distinct regions, all with their own social and economic livelihoods.


Therefore, when we offer pros and cons, it is in a general sense that we try to help you understand the commonalities between the regions. Let’s talk about what we mean and how you can start a new life in Belgium.


If you're thinking about moving your household belongings to Belgium, don't forget to visit our Removals to Belgium for more information.


Pro - Lots of Job Prospects

One thing that you will find out about life in Belgium is that there are a lot of job prospects on offer, and they all provide you with plenty of opportunities to find work across numerous industries.


If you want the most options, then you need to put down roots in the region of Wallonia. There’s both skilled and unskilled labor on offer, so it isn’t hard to get your foot in the door of whatever industry you have the desire to work within.


Con - There’s More Than One Language to Learn

As we said previously, one of the things that you’re going to need to wrap your head around is the fact that Belgium has more than one region to settle in and thus, more than one language to learn.

The regions in Belgium include Brussels, Flanders, and Wallonia.


Each region speaks different languages. You may find that depending on where you settle, people speak English, German, French, or Flemish - it’s a lot to take in. You need to match your language to where you’ve chosen to live.


Pro - Housing is Affordable in Belgium

Housing in Europe is generally quite affordable. It's possible to find good-sized properties for as little as a thousand euros a month. That’s not bad, and this is pretty consistent across the whole of Belgium. With that in mind, it is worth checking out all of the options on offer.


Con - Living Costs are High

You might get a pass on housing prices and rent, but that is sadly where the buck stops - the cost of living in Europe is generally quite high these days and the reality is that Belgium is no different.


Utilities are a significant cost when working out the monthly budget, but food takes on a whole new level of frugality for most. If you weren’t an expert at saving on the weekly shop and taking advantage of offers, then you will be now - this stuff gets pricey.


Pro - Education is Superb

If you’ve got kids and you’re thinking about settling down in Belgium then you will be pleased to know that you can look forward to a superb standard of free public education.


The overall quality of education also remains consistent up to the university level - universities in Belgium consistently get high marks across global league tables so you’re in good hands.


Con - Acclimation Takes Time

Belgium has earned a reputation for being a difficult place for expats to acclimate. They are known to be somewhat reserved - not to you specifically, just generally.


This means that you may not get a warm welcome straight off the bat. It isn’t impossible to make friends and build a life in Belgium, but it is worth noting that, generally speaking, you’ll be working a little harder to make friends and influence people.


Pro - Low Crime Rates

If you’re worried about crime, then Belgium is an excellent place to go. The entire country has lower crime rates relative to other locations in Europe, with comparisons to other major cities in Europe often netting a win for the Belgian crowd.


In rural areas, crime is virtually non-existent. Most people don’t have a care in the world, and even in big cities, it’s usually just petty theft and pickpocketing.


Con - Healthcare Isn’t Free

Healthcare in Belgium is good, and if you need a doctor, you can get one, but it is not a free healthcare system like the UK. You will be expected to pay upfront, and this can be a starting change of pace for most expats.


The costs aren’t terrible by any means, but they’re not exactly pocket change, so you’ll want to get health insurance, as most will reimburse standard visits to the doctor and everyday medication.


Pro - Public Transport Reigns Supreme

As a fun fact about Belgium, nearly 30% of all households don’t own a car. There is a well-established public transport system of trains and trams that you can use for the commute, getting around, and generally living life your way.


It’s rather enjoyable for people who want to be able to live without the expenses of a car, and public transport is affordable for the daily trip to work and back.


Con - High Taxes

Belgium is a beautiful place to live, but the cost of living there comes in the form of taxes. You can sometimes pay up to 50% of your income in tax - this makes a lot of people very unhappy, but it is for a good purpose.


The taxes go back into the country, helping to improve the quality of life and keep the public transport ticking over. However, if you’re a newcomer to the area, you may find the tax situation a rather unpleasant welcome gift.


Moving to Belgium

So, there are pros and cons to moving to Belgium. The area is not a bad place to live, and with low crime rates and plenty of natural beauty, it is easy to see why so many people take the plunge and live here.


However, with that being said, it’s not a total paradise. You need to be ready for a high cost of living, so materialism isn’t going to do you any favors here. If you are looking to move, then Pinnacle Removals & Storage is happy to help - we have plenty of experience, so get in touch.


 

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