10th successive birth rate drop in Belgium causes 18-year low

Last year, the number of newly-born babies in Belgium was almost 3 percent down on the year, federal statistics show. The birth rate has been going down for 10 years now, reaching the lowest level since 2003. 

113,739 babies were born in 2020. That is 2.9 percent less than in 2019, preliminary figures supplied by the national statistics agency Statbel show. Among them were 58,199 baby boys compared to just 55,540 baby girls. 

The average age of the mothers giving birth was 30.8 years. The fertility rate - the average number of children for each woman - has dropped to 1.55. In Brussels, more than half of the newly-borns had a foreign mother (55.2 percent). In Flanders (22.6 percent) and Wallonia (17.9 percent) this figure is much lower.  

The number of births has been going down for 10 years. In 2010, just before the drop started, Belgium welcomed 129,000 babies each year. This means that the number has dropped by some 12 percent since then.

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