Population of Flanders to top 8 million in 2070

Figures from the Belgian statistics office Statbel show that Ukrainian refugees make up over half of all new inhabitants in Belgium last year. The influx of Ukrainian refugees meant Belgium experienced a sharp increase in population numbers in 2022.  The population of Flanders is expected to continue to grow for many more years, though at a slower pace.  Population growth in Wallonia will be much slower and will grind to a halt in Brussels.

Interim figures from Statbel show a population increase of 104,000 last year. 11,584,000 people now live in Belgium. Last year 63,000 Ukrainian refugees, mainly women and children, were given temporary accommodation in Belgium.  The long-term impact of this influx is unclear.  Will most refugees return home or stay here for good?

The planning office doesn’t expect any repeat of this year’s peak.  Only 6,500 Ukrainian refugees are expected here this year.

Belgium’s population is set to continue to grow in coming years, albeit at a slower pace.  By 2070 Belgian women are expected to have 1.72 children on average – up 0.2 on today’s figure.  By 2070 the population of Flanders will top 8 million compared to 6.2 million today. Figures will continue to rise, but at a slower pace than today.  Most growth is achieved by people moving from Brussels and Wallonia.

The population of Wallonia will continue to grow but at a slower pace than in Flanders.  By 2070 there will be 3.9 Wallonians.  That’s a rise of 6%, much smaller than the 19% rise expected in Flanders.  In Brussels population growth will grind to  a halt with only a couple of hundred extra Brusselers each year. Many inhabitants of the capital are expected to move to Flanders or Wallonia and immigration won’t be able to ensure population growth.

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