One in six workers in Belgium has a foreign nationality

Door Redactie Online


The French constitute the largest group of foreign workers, growing from 3.43% to 3.83% of the total workers. There have been fewer Britons since 2012: Britons actually made up only 0.35% of all foreign workers, but Brexit dropped that figure to 0.25%. Only the Italian group has seen a sharp decline: from 2.5% in 2012 to 2.09% today.

Eastern Europe

We see a significant increase in the number of workers from Eastern European countries. The number of helping hands from countries like Romania or Bulgaria doubled in ten years (+93%) from 1.39% to 2.68% of the total. A notable exception is Poland. Until 2017, the Polish labor force rose to 1%, but since then the figure has fallen to 0.85%. Workers from all non-European countries represent only 3.9% of the total.

“Foreign labor is an important part of our economy. Social disruptions caused by Brexit and the coronavirus have had a lagging effect on their numbers in Belgium, but we expect an outflow as in the UK,” said Wim Demy of Bartina.

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