© 2015 Thanasis Zovoilis

Almost half of new-born babies have a foreign mother or a mother with foreign roots

Figures released by the Planning Bureau show that almost half of all babies born in Belgium in 2020 had either a foreign mother or a mother with foreign roots. The figures also show that on average women that are foreign nationals or have roots abroad have more children than women from a Belgian background. 

Meanwhile, the Statistics Bureau Statbel’s figures show that in 2020 the fertility rate in Belgium was “historically low" at an average of 1.54 children/woman.

In 2020 women from a Belgian background had an average of 1.38 children. This is 1.58 children among with that are Belgian nationals, but have foreign roots, while women that live in Belgium, but are not Belgian nationals have an average of 2.05 children.

The Planning Bureau’s Marie Vandresse told VRT News that "You can see that the difference between Belgians from a Belgian background and those from another background isn’t really that great. The greatest difference is between Belgians and non-Belgians”.

Although, women that are foreign nationals account for just one in 6 women of childbearing age in Belgium, 1 in 4 children born here in 2020 were born to women that were not Belgian nationals. This explains why almost half (47.7%) of babies born in Belgium last year were born to foreign woman or women with foreign roots. 

Childbearing age

The largest portion of babies born in Belgium are born to mothers that are between the ages of 25 and 35. Belgian women with foreign roots are strongly represented among the young mother (15-25), while woman from a Belgian background account for a large portion of the oldest new mums (40+). 

For the purpose of these statistics a woman is considered to have foreign roots if at least one of her parents was not born a Belgian. 

Top stories