Emigration rate up by 15pc in four years
14 August 2006, BRUSSELS — The number of Belgians emigrating abroad has increased by 15 percent in the past four years, OECD figures have revealed.
14 August 2006
BRUSSELS — The number of Belgians emigrating abroad has increased by 15 percent in the past four years, OECD figures have revealed.
The OECD study found that 20,000 Belgians are leaving the country every year, newspaper 'Het Belang van Limburg' reported.
A social and economic geography professor at the Leuven Catholic University, Etienne Van Hecke, said most people decide to leave for economic reasons
The opening of EU borders and globalisation of the economy are enticing a large number of young Belgians abroad.
However, a large number of people, especially youths, are also expatriating to Belgium.
Many older people are also leaving Belgium though, mainly to sunnier climates and more fiscally attractive countries.
Despite the rising rate of emigration, however, many more Belgians stay at home in comparison with other nations.
There are about 300,000 Belgians known by embassies to be living abroad, newspaper 'Het Laatste Nieuws' reported. In reality, about 500,000 are believed to have moved abroad.
Most of them stay in Europe: 81,000 are in France, 23,500 in the Netherlands, 21,000 in Germany, 20,000 in Spain, 16,000 in Luxembourg, 13,500 in Switzerland, 12,000 in the UK, 6,000 in Italy, 2,200 in Greece, 2,000 in Portugal, 1,300 in Austria.
In the US, there are about 18,000 Belgians, 11,000 in Canada, 5,000 in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay combined, 3,600 in Brazil and 1,500 in Chili.
In Australia and New Zealand, there are about 4,500 Belgians, 1,800 in China, 6,200 in southern Africa and 2,700 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news