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Data shows half of babies born in Belgium last year had Belgian mothers

Illustration picture shows a baby playing with a ball, at home in Brussels. (BELGA PHOTO LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ)
06:27 20/12/2021

Half of the babies born in Belgium during 2020 had a mother of Belgian nationality and origin, according to a report released by the Federal Planning Bureau on Friday, based on data from Statbel, the Belgian statistics office. Nearly 23% of new-borns in 2020 had a Belgian mother of foreign origin and nearly 25% a mother of foreign nationality.

The average number of children per woman in 2020 was 1.54 but this number varies according to the nationality and origin of the mother. The data shows that mothers of Belgian origin and nationality had an average of 1.38 children, Belgians of foreign origin 1.58 children and women of foreign nationality 2.05.

"From a historical point of view, the average number of 1.54 children per woman, recorded in 2020 for the entire population, is rather low," the Planning Bureau stated.

The fertility rate is linked to the age of women, noted the institution, and non-Belgian people are more represented in the 25-35 age group where the highest fertility rates are observed. Among Belgians of Belgian or foreign origin, "it is the oldest and youngest age groups respectively that are the most represented, precisely the age groups that are characterised by the lowest fertility rates".

Women of foreign nationality accounted for 16.5% of all women of childbearing age in 2020 but 24.9% of births, added the Planning Bureau.

Written by Nick Amies