7 August 2007
BRUSSELS – There are officially 1,025,577 people of foreign nationality registered in the Belgian national population register at the moment, approximately 21,000 more than a year ago when 1,004,071 foreign nationals were registered.
This growth continues the trend that has been noticeable in Belgium over the past few years. Every year has shown an increase of about 20,000 to 25,000 people. Still a few new trends are taking shape as well. Italians remain the largest group of immigrants, but their number has fallen to just over 4,000. Within the top three the numbers of French and Dutch nationals have shown considerable growth: 6,221 and 8,514 new residents in Belgium, respectively.
The largest relative increase however has been among Poles and Romanians. 7,707 Poles and 4,038 Romanians have settled in Belgium in the past year. There were no significant increases or decreases in the other nationalities represented in the top 16.
The figures do not take into account residents of foreign origin who have naturalised as Belgian citizens. Until the accelerated naturalisation procedure came into effect there were more than 140,000 people with only Moroccan nationality in the country, now there are fewer than 80,000. The same trend can be seen among Turks, who numbered more than 80,000 before the quick naturalisation process; now there are less than 42,000 Turks who do not hold Belgian citizenship.
The city of Antwerp is home to 75,323 people with a foreign nationality, making it the Belgian city with the most foreigners. The town of Horebeke in Oost-Vlaanderen has the least, with just 14 foreigners.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news