Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto

Fewer babies, more foreign mums

People who thought stay at home advice and home working might lead to more babies got it wrong.  The downward trend in the number of births continued during corona year 2020.  Over a thousand fewer babies were born in Flanders last year.

Nearly one in three babies was born to a foreign national mum.  The exact figure, 30.1%, is up in every province. Babies were born to mothers of 170 different nationalities.  4.6% of Flemish babies were born to mums with a Moroccan passport followed by Dutch mums (2.1%), Romanian (2%) and Turkish (1.9%) mothers.

In 30% of cases the language spoken between mother and child is now not Dutch.  

Figures from the children’s agency show over 63,000 births last year. The figure is down nearly 2% on the year.  The total number of births hasn’t been lower since 2003. 

Limburg and Antwerp reported the biggest falls in the number of births, while in East Flanders and Flemish Brabant there were small increases. 

Births are down among all women except in the 30-to-35 age bracket.  Fertility rates among women between 20 and 30 fall further and are at historic lows. Only 1% of babies were born to women under 20, while women over 40 gave birth to 3.3% of new-borns.

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