Belgium’s capital now has more foreign inhabitants than locals, with Moroccans coming in at the third largest foreign population.
Rabat – Brussels has the second highest percentage of foreign residents among cities worldwide after Dubai, according to a study from Brussels Jet Pack Center for Analysis. A total of 1.2 million people inhabit Brussels, and six out of 10 of those inhabitants were not born in Belgium. Of those six, two gain Belgian citizenship at some point.
Nine percent of non-Belgians in Brussels are from Morocco, making Moroccans the third most present nationality among foreigners after French people and Romanians. Africa is the most common place of origin of non-European migrants living in Brussels at 17% of migrants. Within this population, the migrants are more likely to be from North Africa than other regions on the continent.
There are 184 nationalities represented in Brussels, making it one of the most racially and ethnically diverse cities in the world.
Despite this diversity, there is still a high level of segregation. Foreigners from North Africa, Turkey, and the EU all live in different areas of the city. North Africans tend to settle in districts like Molenbeek, Anderlecht, Brussels-City, Saint-Josse, and Schaerbeek. On the other hand, non-Belgian EU citizens prefer to live in the city center or in the municipalities of Saint-Filles, Ixelles, and Etterbeek.
The study emphasizes the importance of “ensuring the social inclusion of migrants” as fundamental to the social and cultural development of Brussel’s society. The author recommends that the local government take action to ensure the inclusion of migrants in housing, work, and healthcare. In particular, addressing issues of housing has the potential to reduce the segregation seen throughout the city today.