Slowdown in Brussels' population growth as it surpasses 1.2 million

Slowdown in Brussels' population growth as it surpasses 1.2 million
Credit: © Belga

The population in the Brussels-Capital Region continued to grow in 2019, reaching past 1.2 million but slowing down in comparison to recent years, according to some demographers.

Demographic data by the National Registry collected in November showed that with a total of 8,272 new residents settling in, Brussels' population grew to 1,220,007 inhabitants, RTBF reports.

The comparison with November 2018 figures showed that the municipality of Brussels maintains still leads the population charts, boasting a total of 185,701 inhabitants spread throughout Brussels 1000, Laeken and Neder-over-Heembeek.

The biggest growth was recorded in the municipalities of Anderlecht and Evere, with the former ranking as the third-largest municipality, with over 120,000 inhabitants and the latter growing by 1,000, the outlet reports.

While, with 132,813 inhabitants, Schaerbeek remains the second most populous municipality, its posted a slight population decline with 416 fewer residents than last year.

While the numbers confirm a consistent upward trend in population growth in the region, a demographer with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel said that the figures represented a slowdown from previous years.

Demographer Patrick Deboosere said that the numbers represented a population increase of 0.6%, which he said was "slightly higher than previous years but a lot lower than the years before that."

Deboosere said that past population boosts in the region could be explained by recent accessions to EU membership as well as migration resulting from the 2008 financial crisis.

Additionally, he told Bruzz that an increasing number of people were settling into cities in the outskirts of Brussels, such as Ninove or Aalst.

The figures also suggest that a number of municipalities are increasingly populated by a majority of female residents, in the image of Etterbeek, Forest, Ixelles, Jette or Molenbeek, among others.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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