Rabat - The Moroccan community in Belgium has doubled over the past 20 years.
Rabat – The Moroccan community in Belgium has doubled over the past 20 years.
In 2012, the number of Moroccans living in Belgium reached over 429,580, representing 3.9% of the country’s general population, according to the latest report released by the Centre for Research in Demography and Societies at Louvain University.
Fifty years ago, the first workers of Moroccan descent arrived to Belgium. “During the 1970s, the Moroccan population in Belgium grew to reach 105,000. The Moroccan population continued to grow during the 1980s, reaching the historic maximum of 145,600 Moroccan residing in Belgium on January 1, 1992,” according to the report.
“Today, 429,580 people, or 3.9% of the Belgian population, are of Moroccan origin,” the report added.
The report noted that since the arrival of Moroccan immigrants, the Belgio-Moroccan population has gradually feminized and remained relatively young.
During the 70s, the gender ratio of the Moroccan community in Belgium reached 80 women for every 100 men. The process of feminization ofMoroccan migrants in Belgium continued increasing during the 1990s and 2000s, reaching 94 women for every 100 men in 2009.
Moroccan immigrants remain young and demographically dynamic, with new generations of children who are brought to Belgium at a young age. Belgio-Moroccan community is concentrated in the young and working age (between 25 and 44 years), but also in young children (under 15 years).
The report also emphasizes the unfavorable position of the Moroccan population in the labor market and in education. “The descendants of Moroccan immigrants tend to improve their social position relative to that of their parents, but this improvement is less marked than for Belgians of the same socio-economic level.”
The report said that most of Moroccan migrants in Belgium settle in the big cities and in the industrial or mining regions of the country. Statistics says that in 2009, 47.9 % of Moroccans in Belgium live in Brussels, 5.0 % in the Eastern Flanders, 3.4 % in Limburg and 18.7 % in Antwerp.
The report stresses that the challenge for the Belgian authorities is to reduce the socio-economic problems of the Moroccan population that will continue to grow with the arrival of new generations of children born in Belgium with Belgian citizenship.
Edited by Timothy Filla
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