117,914 babies were born in 2021

117,914 babies were born in 2021

In 2021, 117,914 babies were born in Belgium 60,282 boys and 57,632 girls. This is what emerges from the figures of Statbel, the Belgian statistical office. That is about 4,000 babies or 3.7% more than in 2020, when 113,739 births were registered. If we compare with the period before the COVID-19 pandemic, we see rather a stagnation (-0.1%) in Belgium due to a declining figure in the Brussels-Capital Region. In the Flemish Region, the number of births increases in 2021, also compared to the average for 2017-2019. In the Walloon Region, the number of births has returned to the pre-COVID-19 proportions.

This publication compares the number of births for 2021 with the average the number of births for the period 2017-2019. The evolution of the number of women of childbearing age and the population structure[1] were not taken into account. Further scientific research must show their impact on the birth rate.

2021 registers as many births as the average for the period 2017-2019

117,914 births were registered in 2021. This is 4,175 more births than in 2020, although that year was marked by a very low number of births. The number of births registered in 2021 is in line with the average number of births in the period 2017-2019 (118,102).

Flanders compensates, Wallonia recovers and Brussels decreases

Large regional differences hide behind the general birth figures.

In the Flemish Region, 65,747 births were registered. That is 2,949 more than in 2020 and 1,561 more than the average number of births in 2017-2019. In Flanders, the number of births not only seems to be recovering, but even compensating for the low number of births in 2020.

36,477 births were registered in Wallonia. That is 1,383 more than in 2020, but the figure is in line with the average number of births in the period 2017-2019. The Walloon Region therefore seems to be experiencing a recovery in the number of births.

Finally, the Brussels-Capital Region recorded 15,690 births. Brussels is the only region where the number of births drops by 157 compared to 2020. So in Brussels, the number of births does not seem to be recovering in 2021, but rather continuing to decline.

  2017 2018 2019 Average 2017-2019 2020 2021
Belgium 119,102 117,800 117,103 118,002 113,739 117,914
Flemish Region 64,501 64,336 63,721 64,186 62,798 65,747
Walloon Region 36,892 36,087 36,528 36,502 35,094 36,477
Brussels-Capital Region 17,709 17,377 16,854 17,313 15,847 15,690

[1] The best known example is the age distribution. This is subject to change over the years and therefore has an impact on the number of women of childbearing age in the population.