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Cities in BELGIUM

Antwerp Bruges Brussels


Tintin most famous Belgian?Tintin most famous Belgian?Photo: Newtown graffity CC 2.0 Unported no changes made

Belgium has 11,491,346 million inhabitants (2017). In 1830, Belgium had only 3.8 million inhabitants and in a hundred years that number doubled to over 8.1 million. More than 8.5 inhabitants were counted in the first census after World War II. The population grew fastest between 1961 and 1971, with an average of 51,000 people per year. In 1996 this number fell to "only" 24,000. Population growth in 2017 was 0.7%.

The number of births per thousand inhabitants fluctuated around 17 from 1947 to 1964, followed by a sharp drop to 11.3 in 2017. The death rate (the number of deaths per thousand inhabitants) was 9.7 in 2014 (compared to 12.3 in 1970 and 11.5 in 1980). Between 1970 and 1980, the infant mortality rate (the number of deceased children under 1 year per thousand births) decreased by 43% (from 21.1 to 12.1) and again from 1980 to 1986 from 12.1 to 9.4. In 2017, the infant mortality rate fell to 3.4.

In 2017, life expectancy was 83.8 years for women and 78.75 for men. The aging of the population can be expressed, among other things, by the share of the elderly (65+) in the total population, which rose from 11 to 14.4% between 1947 and 1988; in 1993 this share was 17.81% and increased to 18.6% in 2017.

The structure of the entire population currently looks as follows:
0-14 years: 17.2%
15-64 years: 64.2%
65+: 18.6%

The population density of Belgium is 376 inhabitants per square kilometer, but there are important regional differences; there are more inhabitants per square kilometer in the Flemish Region than in the Walloon Region. The Brussels-Capital Region is very densely populated with more than 5000 people per square kilometer.

Flanders is most populated with about 6.5 million inhabitants, while Wallonia has 3.6 million inhabitants. The nearly 1.2 million inhabitants of the Brussels-Capital Region represent almost 10% of the total Belgian population. 14% of the Flemish population lives in the Flemish cities of Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges and 15% of the Walloon population in the three Walloon cities of Charleroi, Liège and Namur.

The most densely populated areas in Belgium are the provinces of Antwerp, Flemish Brabant and the Brussels Region. Limburg is the least populated province in Flanders. The most populous province in Wallonia is Hainaut. The average number of Belgians lives in the Walloon province of Luxembourg; only 55 inhabitants per km2.

In 2017, just over 1,000,000 immigrants lived in Belgium. The six main nationalities are Italians, Moroccans, French, Dutch, Turks and Spaniards. These native populations mainly live in Hainaut (the old industrial axis of Mons-Charleroi), the Liège Basin, the former Limburg mining region, Brussels and Antwerp.

Immigrants are responsible for about half of the annual population growth.


Belgium, a way of life

European Union: fifteen country documents

European Platform for Dutch Education

The Stateman's Yearbook: the politics, cultures and economies of the world
Macmillan Press Limited

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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