European Union nationals are, by far, the main foreign nationality group in Brussels. Together as at January 1st, 2016, they total 273,255 individuals, or nearly 7 out of 10 foreign Brusselers.
This emerges from Focus edition 18 published by the Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (“the IBSA”).
Between 2005 and 2016, the European Union (“EU”) countries alone have comprised more than 60% of the increase in the Brussels population.
As at January 1st, 2016, 411,075 people living in Brussels did not have Belgian nationality, indeed amounting to a little less than 35% of the total population. This proportion was three times higher than the national average, which barely exceeded 11% at that time.
On the basis of these figures, amongst the nationals from other EU countries, more than 62,000 are French, the nationality making up the leading group of foreign Brussels inhabitants, far above the Moroccans, who scoop second position, with a little more than 38,000 people.
Several Central and Eastern European countries that have become members of the European Union more recently have appeared in the Top 10 of foreign nationalities, during the last ten years. This is, in particular, the case with Romania (with approximately 37,700 individuals), Poland (26,400) and Bulgaria (11,400).
Again taking figures from the IBSA, between 2005 and 2016, the number of foreign nationals from EU countries increased by 72% (146,000) whereas the overall Belgian population living in Brussels increased by 18% (35,000).
In particular, the Institute has observed that the number of nationals from some Central and Eastern European countries literally increased more than tenfold. The number of Romanians and Bulgarians thus multiplied respectively by 14 and 11 between 2005 and 2016.