In 2021, almost ten percent more Brussels residents emigrated to other regions in Belgium compared to 2019 and 2020. This is reported by the Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (BISA) based on data from Statbel.
In 2021, 45,000 inhabitants left the Brussels-Capital Region to settle in Flanders or Wallonia. That is an increase of almost 10 percent compared to 2019 and 2020.
Demographer Johan Surkyn (VUB) qualifies. “The outflow from the Brussels-Capital Region always seems to be greater than the inflow, which is partly due to a side effect of foreign immigration. When people from abroad arrive in Brussels and settle there, they are not included in the internal migration.” This internal migration means that a person moves from one municipality to another. “When they leave Brussels, they will be included there.”
Whoever thinks of the classic city escape often thinks of wealthy Brussels residents who move to Flanders. That image is no longer consistent with the current situation. “There is more of a population change. In addition to wealthy Brussels residents, many families with a lower socio-economic status are also moving away from Brussels because the housing market is simply becoming too expensive. Young people also continue to study and live in Brussels for longer.”
Most moves are made to the periphery around Brussels, both in the Flemish and Walloon regions. “Many people had postponed their moving plans in 2020. Now you have some catching up to do. Which explains another part of the increased numbers. That normally stabilizes,” explains the demographer.
In addition to a young outflow, young people also make up the vast majority of the influx to the Brussels-Capital Region. For example, more than half of them (57 percent in 2021) are between 20 and 34 years old. The 25-29 age group alone accounts for more than a quarter of the influx.
“That can partly be explained by the young group of people who continue to live in Brussels after their studies,” says the demographer.
In 2021, 23,854 people from the rest of Belgium came to live in the Brussels Region. That number of internal immigrations has remained relatively stable since 1992. Still, in 2020 (23,585) and 2021, it was lower than in the years before the COVID-19 pandemic, when the influx was around 26,000.
Tags: Brussels residents emigrating regions