Married Brits, with or without children, have been applying for Belgian citizenship in greater numbers than single ones, the Belgian statistical office, Statbel, disclosed on Wednesday. Education and age also seem to be significant factors.
The Interior Ministry had announced last week that some 2,700 Brits had requested and obtained Belgian nationality since the referendum on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union in June 2016. This represented an average of close to 90 approvals per month.
Statbel also analysed the socio-demographic characteristics of the 22,949 British citizens resident in Belgium by the 1st of January 2017. “This analysis highlights the differences between Brits who changed their nationality in 2017 and those who have not done so,” the office explained.
In 2017, 6% of Brits resident in Belgium, or 1,375 persons, opted for Belgian citizenship: 6.21% of women (626 out of 10,073) and 5.82% of men (749 out of 12,876).
Where the type of household was concerned, 7.45 % of couples with children changed their nationalities (664 out of 8908) – as against 7.41% of childless couples (240 out of 8,908) and 3.45% of single persons (163 out of 4,726).
People with university degrees applied for Belgian nationality 3.5 times faster than those with lower secondary diplomas, while people of working age (17-65 years) were less likely to switch than those under the age of 18 or above 65.
The length of time spent in Belgium and whether or not a person was born in the country also appeared to play a role, although the differences were “less pronounced than those linked to education levels,” Statbel noted.