Belgium: 30% foreign population in ten years (UPDATED)

Belgium: 30% foreign population in ten years

Update:  Hertogen updates that in this study he took into account all naturalizations since WWII, while previously only the data from 1980 was available. 

This means, I think, that about 10% of the Brussels region population is of foreign origin, from people who came to Belgium in the 40 years following WWII.  About 56% is of foreign origin, from people who came in the 30 years after 1980.

More information is available at Hertogen's site, where he has a list of the total number and percent of inhabitants of foreign background for each of Belgium's 589 municipalities.


This of course does not mean that Muslims would be 30% of the population, but it does meant that Europe is facing very large minorities.  Muslims are the biggest non-European group and the most visible, and as such, the discussion about Islam in Europe is actually part of a much larger discussion about immigration.

Hertogen claims that 68% of the residents of the Brussels region are of foreign origin.  Two years ago, he said there were 56.5%.  Hertogen says Belgium has 21.6% foreigners, Flanders 13.3% and Wallonia 22.5%.


Within ten years, 30% of the Belgian population will have immigrant roots, according to a study by sociologist Jan Hertogen together with K.U.Leuven.

Recent factors in the demographic evolution in Brussels
(Blue - natural increase, Yellow - balance of international immigration
Purple - statistical adaptations, Green - balance of internal immigration
Red - balance of immigration, Black - total population increase)

In various major Belgian cities, this figure is already higher.  The Brussels suburb of Sint-Joost-ten-Node has the highest ratio with 96% immigrants.  Sint-Gillis  has 91.7%.

In Brussels 70% of the residents are of foreign origin.  In 2020 that will be 85%. In Antwerp 39.7% are of foreign origin, within ten years that would be 55%.  Mechelen (now 27%) would go up to 41%, Ghent (now 25%) to 38%.

According to the study, within several dozen years, ethnic Belgians would be a minority in the major cities.
Researcher Jan Hertogen says that the evolution can't be stopped any more.  "We should emotionally accept that the stereotype of the traditional Belgian will quietly disappear," he says.  "Even more: look at the figures and you have to conclude that Belgium would have been a poor, dying out nation without all those immigrants."

The researchers considers people whose grandfathers came to Belgium as 'immigrants'. Some people think that definition is too broad, but he says that it fits better with the impression of more people.

Sources: HLN, GvA, Telegraaf (Dutch)

Related articles:
* Brussels: A Muslim majority in 20 years?
* Brussels: 56.5% immigrant population

No comments: