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Published on 16 July 2024 • Next update: July 2025
Inhoud is aan het laden
Inhoud is aan het laden
Inhoud is aan het laden

In 2023, there were 62,338 births (open definition) to women living in the Flemish Region (among the legal population (open definition)). 31,732 boys and 30,606 girls were born. In 2023, almost 950 fewer children were born than in 2022 and more than 3,400 fewer than in 2021. Compared to the peak year of 2010, 7,741 fewer children were born in 2023 (-11%).

In 2023 fewer births than deaths

In 2023, there were again fewer births than deaths in the Flemish Region: 62,338 births compared to 64,670 deaths. This resulted in a negative natural balance (open definition) of -2,332. The number of deaths also exceeded the number of births in 2020 and 2022, resulting in negative balances of -8,121 and -4,244 respectively.

Between 2000 and 2019 as well as in 2021, there were increasingly more births than deaths in the Flemish Region. This always gave a positive natural balance.

Almost 1 in 7 newborns does not have the Belgian nationality

Nearly 1 in 7 newborns (14%) in the Flemish Region had a foreign (non-Belgian) nationality in 2023. This share was higher in the Brussels Capital Region (35%), lower in the Walloon Region (9%).

Especially in the Brussels Capital Region, there were relatively many newborns with the nationality of a country outside the European Union (26%). This share was much lower for the Flemish and Walloon Regions (both 6%).

Slight decrease in the crude birth rate

In 2023, the number of births per 1,000 inhabitants in the Flemish Region was 9.3. That crude birth rate (open definition) was slightly lower in the Walloon Region (9.2 per 1,000 inhabitants) and significantly higher in the Brussels-Capital Region (11.4 per 1,000 inhabitants).

Since 2010, the crude birth rate has fallen in the 3 regions. Only in 2021 was there a slight increase in the crude birth rate in the Flemish and Walloon Region.

High crude birth rates in most Flemish central cities

More than 70% of the municipalities had a crude birth rate lower than the average value for the Flemish Region in the same period (9.5 births per 1,000 inhabitants) for the period 2021-2023. Of the central cities, Antwerp (13.0), Turnhout (11.5), Sint-Niklaas (11.4), Mechelen (11.3), Ghent (11.2), Leuven (10.3), Kortrijk ( 10.1), Aalst (10.0) and Roeselare (9.9) higher than the Flemish average. Municipalities in the southern region of West Flanders, around the Brussels Capital Region and in the Noorderkempen also showed an above-average crude birth rate.

The crude birth rate partly reflects the age structure of the population with typically low values ​​in municipalities with an aging population.

Flemish crude birth rate above EU average

The 2022 crude birth rate for the Flemish Region (9.4 births per 1,000 inhabitants) was above the average of 8.7 births per 1,000 inhabitants for the countries of the European Union (EU27).

High values ​​were found in Cyprus (11.2), France (10.7) and Ireland (10.5). Low values ​​were mainly found in the southern Member States, with Italy at the bottom (6.7).

The figures for EU countries refer to the usual resident population (open definition) in each country. No data are yet available for the observation year 2023.

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