Nearly 90 Per Cent of Belgian Population Growth Due to Migration in 2019

Migrants live in a park in the Belgian port city of Zeebrugge, on February 4, 2016. Some migrants are heading to the Belgian coast, to try and smuggle themselves on bound ferries to reach Britain. Belgian police are cracking down on migrants arriving in Zeebrugge, with more than 450 people …

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.

A report released last year claimed that mass migration into Germany had dramatically increased the number of migrant-background residents to the point where where they now represent 25.5 per cent, or one in four, of the overall German population.

Among young people in Western Germany, the demographic shift is even more pronounced. A 2018 report from the German Federal Statistical Office revealed that 42 per cent of children under the age of six came from migrant backgrounds.

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.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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