Decrease in birth rate in 2020

Decrease in birth rate in 2020

The number of births in Belgium fell by 2.9% in 2020 compared to 2019. This decrease can be observed in all three regions, but is more pronounced in Brussels (-6%) and Wallonia (-3.9%) than in Flanders (-1.5%).

The drop in births is particularly visible between October 2020 and January 2021. In the Brussels-Capital Region, the drop is 13% compared to the same months a year earlier. After a modest and regionally disparate recovery in the spring and summer of 2021, the number of births finally increased significantly in the three regions in October, November and December 2021 In 2021, the number of births in our country rose by 3.7% compared to 2020. The same evolution can be observed in Flanders (+4.7%) and Wallonia (+3.9%), while in Brussels the birth rate remains slightly down (-1%). Compared to 2019, this represents an increase of 0.7% for Belgium, 3.2% for Flanders and decreases of 0.1% and 6.9% respectively for Wallonia and Brussels.

Finally, the total fertility rate[1] falls to 1.55 children per woman in 2020 in Belgium, but increases again to 1.60 in 2021 (provisional figures).

[1] The total fertility rate (TFR) is the sum of the age-specific fertility rates (the age-specific fertility rate being the ratio between live births from women of a given age and the average number of women of this age). The TFR is the number of children that would be born to a woman if she were to live to the end of her childbearing years and bear children in accordance with age-specific fertility rates of the specified year.