Antwerp City Review


About This Report

Apr 2017

Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgium and the second most important consumer market in the country after Brussels. With 60% of all European consumers located within a 500km radius, the port of Antwerp plays a significant part in Belgium's economy serving as Europe's second biggest port, handling 214 million tonnes of freight in 2016. As Belgium's most important logistical centre, Antwerp generated a total GDP of USD67 billion in 2016, accounting for 14% of the country's total GDP.

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Antwerp City Review


The port area in Antwerp is one of the largest in the world, covering over 12,000ha. The city derives its economic strength from years of investment in infrastructure and industrial clusters, which closely relate to the port's activity. Malt, chemical and diamond industries are the most prominent in Antwerp. This has translated into labour productivity levels 13% higher than in the rest of Belgium.

Based on constant 2016 prices, income level fell between 2011 and 2016

Annual average disposable income in Antwerp was 2.5% greater than the rest of the country in 2016. Households in Brussels also marginally trailed behind Antwerp's disposable income (USD54,800 disposable income per household in Antwerp versus USD54,400 in Brussels). However, income decreased by 3.4% at constant 2016 prices between 2011 and 2016 in Antwerp.

Higher spending on discretionary items

Higher average disposable income resulted in higher consumer discretionary spending in Antwerp. Consumer spending per household was 1.4% higher (excluding housing and transport) in Antwerp, compared with the rest of Belgium, as of 2016. The more prominent categories of expenditure in Antwerp were education (44% bigger expenditure in Antwerp than in the rest of the country) and clothing (13%).

Greater spending on transport and housing

Measured per household in 2016, consumer expenditure on transport and housing in Antwerp was 8% higher when compared to the rest of the country. The difference stems from the fact that a great proportion of households possess a passenger car and three districts of Antwerp have the most expensive real estate in all of Flanders. Despite the advantage in disposable income, Antwerp appears a relatively unaffordable city.


Understanding Antwerp Review structure
Chart 1 Overview
Key facts on Antwerp
Summary 1 Key Facts On Antwerp 2011, 2016, 2021


Delimitation of the metropolitan region
Chart 2 Map Of Antwerp Metropolitan Area
Main business districts


Industrial make-up
Chart 3 Industrial Composition Of Antwerp 2016
Chart 4 Labour Productivity: Selected Cities 2016
Recent developments and outlook
Chart 5 Dynamics Of Real GDP In Antwerp, Belgium And Other Cities In Western Europe, 2011-2021
Summary 2 Labour Market Changes In Antwerp 2011, 2016


City demographics
Chart 6 Population By Age 2016
Chart 7 Drivers Of Population Growth In Antwerp 2011-2016
Household income
Chart 8 Household Distribution By Income In Antwerp 2016 And 2021


Structure of household budget
Chart 9 Comparison Of Household Expenditure In Antwerp And Belgium, 2016
Summary 3 Antwerp Household Budget Structure By Consumer Expenditure Item, % of total, 2011, 2016, 2021
City lifestyle
Antwerp - A Destination For Business
Tour Of Flanders Promotes Cycling In Antwerp
City affordability
Chart 10 Household Expenditure On Housing: Selected Cities 2016
Chart 11 Household Expenditure On Transport: Selected Cities 2016



Summary 4 GDP Development, 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 5 GDP By Origin, Current Prices, US$, Million, 2011-2016
Summary 6 Population And Labour Force, 2011-2016
Summary 7 Employed Population By Economic Sector, % of total, 2011-2016
Summary 8 Population By Sex And Broad Age Groups, ‘000, 2011-2016
Summary 9 Population Growth, 2011-2016
Summary 10 Forecast Population Growth
Summary 11 Population By Educational Attainment, 2011-2016
Summary 12 Structure Of Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, 2011-2016
Summary 13 Consumer Expenditure By Main Category, Per Household, Constant (2016) Prices, US$, 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 14 Households By Income Band, % Of Total, Constant (2016) Prices 2011, 2016, 2021
Summary 15 Households By Income Band, ‘000, Current Prices 2011-2016
Summary 16 Inflation, 2011-2016
Summary 17 Transport Indicators, 2011-2016
Summary 18 Air Pollution, Concentration In Micrograms Per Cubic Metre, 2011-2016
Summary 19 Possession of Consumer Durables, % of Households, 2011, 2016, 2021