About one-third of second-generation immigrants (33.7%) had higher education diplomas in Belgium in 2014, as against 43.9% of persons whose parents were both born in the country, according to a report released on Friday by the European statistical office, Eurostat, which found that second-generation immigrants also had a harder time landing jobs. Eurostat also found that the offspring of immigrants in Belgium were less likely than their parents to have higher education diplomas – 33.7% as against 34.2%.
The gaps were even greater on the job market: 71.7% of second-generation immigrants were employed, as against 84.8% of people with both parents born in Belgium. Employment among first-generation immigrants was even lower, at 62.7%.
The opposite trend was observed in Europe, where the percentage of second-generation immigrants with higher education diplomas, 37.5, was much higher than that of people whose parents were born within the European Union (30.9).
However, only Bulgaria, Luxemburg, Portugal and Hungary recorded higher employment rates among second-generation immigrants than among nationals.
About 11% of Belgium’s population comprises second-generation immigrants, one of the highest rates in the EU, where 18.4 million persons (6,1% of the population) were recognized as second-generation immigrants in 2014. Some 13.3 million people (4.4% of the European population) had at least one parent born in the EU, while 5.1 million (1.7%) had both parents born abroad.