Social and economic environment | Compendium Coast and Sea

Social and economic environment

The European coastal areas are characterised by their increasing number of inhabitants and a population density that is on average 10% higher compared to the hinterland. Moreover, these regions are also subject to an expansion of infrastructure and economic activities. Hence, the coastal zones are regions with a unique identity and specific challenges. The Belgian coastal area is characterised by a typical social environment, with a higher population density, a large ageing population, a high amount of second homes and strongly varying real estate prices. Furthermore, the coast constitutes a specific region from an economic perspective. On the one hand, large economic gateways are present, but the region is also characterised by a higher unemployment rate, seasonal employment and a limited number of high-quality jobs for the highly educated. In the ‘Thematic chapter’, an overview is given of the scientific knowledge, socioeconomic data and legal aspects of the user function ‘Social and economic environment’ for the Belgian coastal area. The figures and background data can be consulted in an interactive way by clicking ‘Coastal portal’. More information about the available socioeconomic expertise within the Belgian marine research groups can be consulted by clicking ‘Research groups’.