Coronavirus: decrease in Belgium’s population growth expected in 2020

Coronavirus: decrease in Belgium’s population growth expected in 2020
Credit: Belga

Belgium’s Federal Planning Bureau on Tuesday predicted a decrease in population growth for the country as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Instead of an increase of 50,000, the Planning Bureau thinks that, due to the reduction in migratory flows and an increase in the number of deaths, the population will increase by a mere 17,000 inhabitants.

“This smaller increase is certainly the result of an increase in the number of deaths (+ 9,000) but mainly due to a reduction in the international migration balance (-24,000 people),” the Planning Bureau said. “This balance corresponds to the difference between the number of international immigrants and the number of international emigrants,” they added.

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The demographic outlook for 2019-2070 was published at the beginning of March 2020, just before the first signs of the presence of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) on Belgian territory.

The epidemic and the measures taken by the National Security Council to reduce the spread of coronavirus will have an impact on population growth, particularly for the year 2020.

The daily excess mortality observed during the months of March and April is explained for the most part by deaths related to coronavirus. This excess mortality results in a one-off drop in life expectancy in 2020 of about 5 months compared to 2019, whereas the Belgian population generally gains 2.5 months of life expectancy per year.

According to the Federal Planning Bureau, the impact of restrictions on movement to curb the spread of the pandemic corresponds to a 50% reduction in migration flows (immigration and emigration) projected for the year 2020 before the epidemic.

This drop translates into an immigration of 78,000 people and an emigration of 62,500 people, compared to 165,000 and 125,000 respectively in the projection without coronavirus.

The Brussels Times

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