Double-barrelled surnames remain a rarity in Flanders

The number of parents deciding to give their babies both of their surnames remains relatively low. Since 2014 parents have been able to choose whether their offspring should take the mother’s, the father’s or both parent’s surnames.    

Of the 55,908 children born in Flanders last year that have Belgian nationality just 1,892 were given a double-barrelled surname with the father’s name first. A further 436 children were given a surname in which the mother’s name took precedence. In total this is 2,328 babies or just 4.16% of the total number of babies born in our region last year. 

Meanwhile, 50,492 of the children born last year were given their father’s surname, while 2,637 were given their mother’s surname. 

The percentage of new-born babies given double names was higher in Wallonia (almost 8%) and in the Brussels-Capital Region (9%).  

32,161 children with Belgian nationality were born in Wallonia last year of these 2,249 were given a double-barrelled name consisting father’s surname followed by that of the mother. 309 Walloon babies were given a double-barrelled name made up of the mother’s surname first followed by the father’s surname. 27,115 Walloon babies were given their father’s surname and 2,275 were given their mother’s surname.   

In Brussels 839 of the 11,350 babies born with Belgian nationality were given a double-barrelled surname with the fathers name taking precedence. 171 were given a double surname in which the mother’s surname came first. Together this is 9.07% of the total.  

All the figures listed above come from the Federal Department of the Interior.