Fewer Belgians with foreign roots seeking partners abroad

Research carried out by the University of Ghent and the Federal Centre for Migration Myria, Belgians with roots in Turkey and Morocco are now marrying partners from their counties of origin much than was previously the case. A far greater number choose partners that were born and raised here, albeit often partners from the same ethnic background.     

According to the sociologist Bart Van de Putte “This is a trend that is unstoppable”.

The researchers from the University of Ghent and Myria looked at the figures for the choice of partner of Belgians with roots in Turkey or Morocco and compared them with the figures in previous years. .

"In the year 2000, 70% of Moroccan and Turkish Belgians married partners from their countries of origin. This was the standard option. Today this has fallen back to between 10% and 20%. An ever growing number are choosing a Belgian partner, albeit someone also with foreign roots”, Bart Van de Putte told VRT News.   

According to Mr Van de Putte this is something that has been evolving for some time and it is unstoppable. “He come here, you live here, you go to school here, and you find work and come more and more in contact with society at large. It is something that has to happen sooner or later with ever group”.   

The researchers say that the tightening of the law on bringing in spouses from abroad has had little influence on the figures

"The change in the law came too late to have caused this, but it does serve to uphold the trend”.

Another of the survey’s findings is that there are more divorces among Belgians with Turkish and Moroccan roots

"In Western societies married life changed in the 1970’s due to factors such as emancipation and greater individualism. Few people got married, more decided to live together, people had fewer children and there was more divorce. These are phenomena that were are now seeing among Turkish and Moroccan Belgians”.