Third of immigrants are East Europeans

A third of all the immigrants that settled in Flanders in 2010 hold an East European nationality according to figures from the Flemish Government's study department. An estimated 15% of people who immigrated to Flanders recently did so as a result of marriage.

42,000 newcomers were registered in Flanders in 2010. 31% hold an East European passport. A quarter of the people who immigrated to Flanders recently come from other West European countries. Dutch nationals make up the lion's share in this category.

12% of recent immigrants hail from Asia.

Among East Europeans Poles (4,627), Bulgarians (2,208) and Romanians (1,999) make up the top 3.

Most newly arrived immigrants fit in the 18-to-49 age category. A fifth arrives in Belgium as children. Less than one in ten immigrants is aged over 50. Among Turkish immigrants most new arrivals are young adults. More often than not they will be marrying somebody already settled in Belgium.

Italians and Spaniards too often arrive here as young adults, though marriage is usually not their main reason for coming here. Many students studying in Belgium hail from these two countries.

Among Moroccan immigrants there is higher immigration among the over 50s. Some Turkish first generation immigrants have elderly relatives join them, but this is a practice more common among Moroccans as part of family reunion arrangements.

Overall female immigrants are in the majority. Over half of all recent immigrants live in the larger towns and cities. Nearly a quarter of this total live in Antwerp.