Nearly 90% of Belgian Population Growth Was Due to Migration in 2019

Nearly 90% of Belgian Population Growth Was Due to Migration in 2019

Belgium saw a population growth of 61,235 people in 2019 with 89 per cent of the growth coming from immigration, according to figures released by the Belgian statistics office Statbel.

The country also saw 6,820 more births than deaths in 2019 which represented 11 per cent of the total population growth, but the birthrate has slowed significantly from around 2017 with births being consistently under 120,000 a year since that year.

Migration has driven nearly all of the population growth in 2019, according to the agency, with Belgians returning to the country being the largest group of migrants followed by 10,259 Romanians, 4,983 Moroccans, and 4,067 French nationals.

Flanders saw the majority of the population growth, increasing by 40,074 people compared to French-speaking Wallonia, which increased by 11,448 people. The Brussels region saw an increase of 9,913 and Brussels itself saw the largest growth of any major city in the country.

Belgium follows many other European countries which have seen population growth almost solely due to mass migration in recent years. In Germany, the country saw an increase of 918,000 during the height of the migrant crisis in 2015 and another 316,000 the following year.

Nearly all of the European Union countries, aside from a few exceptions such as Ireland and France, also have negative birthrates, with Italy having just 7.3 births per thousand inhabitants in 2018.

Several countries have also revealed a disparity between the number of children born to native women and migrant-background women, with migrant-background women generally having far higher birthrates.