Belgium’s population should reach 12.7 million by 2070
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    Belgium’s population should reach 12.7 million by 2070

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    Belgium’s population will increase by 11% in the next 50 years, reaching 12.7 million by 2070, according to the latest demographic forecast published by the National Planning Office.

    The new projections for 2019-2070 are lower than a previous forecast, issued in January 2019, which was 13.2 million.

    By 2070, the fertility rate will be 1.7 per woman, a figure that was adjusted slightly in the absence of growth in the current number of births.

    Children born in 2070 will live longer, with a life expectancy of 89.7 years for women and 88.1 years for men countrywide: 87.9 years for women and 86.4 years for men in Wallonia; 88.9 for women and 86.8 for men in Brussels; and 90.8 years for women and 89.2 years for men in Flanders.

    International migration, which has increased since the years 2000 due to factors such as the expansion of the EU, also plays a role in the Planning Office’s latest demographic projections. However, net migration is expected to go down by 2030, when it will be at the same level as in the early 2000s – about 20,000 persons per year.

    Meanwhile, in recent years, Brussels has been facing an outward migration of families with young children wishing to settle in a less urban environment.

    Due to the ageing of the baby boomer generation, the segment of the population aged 67 years and above will go from 17% in 2019 to 24% in 2070. From 2030 onward, Belgium will have more people above the age of 67 years than those below the age of 17, the Planning Office said.

    Finally, single-parent households will increase from 35% in 2019 to 40% in 2070.

    Oscar Schneider
    The Brussels Times