Brussels residents lead Belgium in sharing economy


Residents of Brussels are twice as inclined to take part in the sharing economy – borrowing and lending instead of buying – than the rest of Belgium

Borrow and lend

Brussels residents are the most active participants in Belgium’s share economy, according to a survey conducted by ING bank. The survey looked at consumer behaviours in 13 European countries, the USA and Australia. In Belgium, 1,030 people were surveyed.

Also known as “collaborative consumption”, the share economy is a movement that is gaining momentum around the world as a response to the global financial crisis and over-consumption. Residents share goods and services with each other, often connecting through social media sites. If you need a ladder, for instance, but not regularly, you find someone with a ladder to lend rather than buying one.

While the concept of a share economy is still relatively unknown in Belgium (three-quarters of respondents said they have never heard of it), the average Brussels resident is more likely to take part in it, with just over 16% reporting that they now and then share goods and services, compared with 8.5% of all Belgians.

The survey also revealed that Brussels residents are more likely to support flat- and ride-share providers like Airbnb and Uber. Most of the Brussels residents also indicated that they would do more sharing in the coming year.

“The city is home to a young and highly educated population of people who are generally more inclined to share goods,” economist Anthony Baert of ING Belgium told This is also a group, he said, that tends to trust other people more readily so that they are more inclined to share with others. “But they are also more likely to have a smartphone, which is required for many sharing apps.”