Births nosedive yet again

For the seventh year in a row the number of babies born in Belgium has fallen.  119,102 babies were born in the country in 2017, the latest available figure.  The figure means Belgium is just above average when it comes to a European comparison.

The 2017 figure compares unfavourably with 2010 when 127,193 babies were born in Belgium.  Figures for 2016 - those for 2017 aren't yet available from the Belgian statistics office - show the average woman in Belgium had 1.68 babies.  The European average is 1.59.  France 1.9, Sweden 1.78, Ireland 1.78, Denmark 1.75 and the UK 1.74 are all above average.

Women are having most children in Brussels.  This is being attributed to the larger number of foreign nationals in this region.  In Brussels 52% of babies are born to non-Belgians.  In Flanders the figure is 21.6% and in Wallonia only 18.2%.

Mums are having a baby later on in life.  In 2016 the average age at which a woman becomes a mother was 28.9%.