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    Belgium had 11,322,088 inhabitants as at January 1st

    Belgium had exactly 11,322,088 inhabitants as at January 1st this year. The population has increased 0.48% in a year. This is per figures communicated yesterday evening by the Directorate-General for Statistics and Economic Information of the FPS Economy.The population growth, due to a positive figure for births compared to deaths, and that of immigration over emigration from Belgium, was slightly lower than during 2015 (an increase of 0.53%).

    In absolute terms, the legally recorded population numbers increased by 54,178 people throughout 2016, the larger part (42,239 or around 3/4, before allowing for statistical adjustment) coming from immigration. The overall trend appears to be towards a decrease in the number of births year-on-year, if we take last year’s figures (121,161 births in 2016 compared to 121,713 in 2015). The Directorate-General for Statistics and Economic Information notes that it remains to be seen how this figure will evolve in the future.

    It is worth noting that population increases are highly variable as between given provinces. Those of Antwerp and Flemish Brabant recorded the highest growth, of 0.7%. At the other end of the scale, Hainaut only increased slightly with 0.2% additional inhabitants (or 2,405 individuals) compared to as at January 1st, 2016.

    Of the entire Belgian population, 50.8% are female, and 49.2% are male. There is a slightly more even female/male proportion in the Flemish region, with a ratio of 50.6% compared to 49.4%, than in Wallonia (51.2% woman) or Brussels (51.1% women). Flanders totals 6,516,011 inhabitants (an increase of 38,207 in 2016). Comparatively there are 3,614,473 Walloons (up by 12,257 year-on-year) and 1,191,604 Brusselers (up by 3,714 year-on-year). The latter it appears seem to prefer to join those in the commune of Evere (up by 2.1%). In contrast they are shunning the Bruxelles-Ville (City of Brussels area) which lost slightly in excess of 2,000 inhabitants (-1.1%).

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times