Partnership

Married population
Content

The map shows for each municipality the share of the population aged 18 years old or more that is married. This indicator is calculated as the ratio between the married population aged 18 and over and the population aged 18 and over whose marital status is known.

In Belgium, 45% of the population aged 18 and over is married. This figure goes from 48% in Flanders to 40% in Wallonia and 38% in the Brussels-Capital Region. These percentages drop compared to 2011 where 54% of the population aged 18 and over was married in Flanders, 47% in Wallonia and 45% in the Brussels-Capital Region.

A very large majority of municipalities in West Flanders and Limburg show percentages above the national average. Conversely, the lowest figures (between 27% and 31%) can be found in the Brussels municipalities of Ixelles, Saint-Gilles and Etterbeek as well as in Liège. In general, both in Flanders and Wallonia, big cities register lower figures than less urbanised municipalities.

Population in a registered partnership
Content

A couple is considered to be in a “registered partnership" ” when they have made a declaration of legal cohabitation and there is no family relationship between the two cohabitants, or if they have entered into a legal partnership in a foreign country. This indicator presents the share of the population aged 18 and over living in a registered partnership in the population aged 18 and over whose marital status is known. .

At national level, the number of registered partnerships follows the opposite trend to marriages. In 2021, 7% of the population aged 18 and over was in a registered partnership, versus only 3% in 2011. The municipalities of the Walloon Region show higher figures than in the other two regions, particularly in the provinces of Namur and Luxembourg.

The Census 2021 in a nutshell

The Census 2021 is a snapshot of the population living in Belgium on 1 January 2021. It provides a wide range of figures on housing and demographic, socio-economic and educational characteristics of the citizens. The objective of the Census is twofold: to comply with the European regulation[1] and to produce statistics to address national specific needs (public services, international organizations, researchers, enterprises and private individuals).

Previously based on an exhaustive survey of all citizens, since 2011 the Census has been based exclusively on the use of administrative databases.

Definitions

The various statistical units

Population

The population taken into account for the Census 2021 is the residential population, as registered in the National Register of Natural Persons (RNPP) on 1 January 2021. The Belgian population includes Belgians and non-Belgians who have been allowed or authorised to settle or to stay in Belgium but does not include non-Belgians living on the territory for less than three months, asylum seekers and non-Belgians in an illegal situation[2].

Private households

This group includes people living alone in a dwelling and groups of several people living in the same dwelling and providing themselves with essentials for living.

Family nuclei

A family nucleus is defined as two or more persons who belong to the same household and who are related as husband and wife, as partners in a registered partnership, as partners in a consensual union, or as parent and child.

Living quarters

Living quarters refer to all quarters used as the usual residence of one or several persons.

Conventional dwellings

Conventional dwellings are separate units (surrounded by walls and covered by a roof) that are independent (with a direct access from the street or a staircase, passage) and designed to be used as a permanent dwelling.

Occupied conventional dwellings

Occupied conventional dwellings are conventional dwellings used as the usual residence of one or several private households.

Variables and their description

Sex

This variable is used to distinguish men from women.

Age

The age reached in completed years of age on 1 January 2021.

Place of usual residence

The place of residence is that registered in the National Register on 1 January 2021. So this is the place of legal residence.

The Belgian municipalities have changed between 2011 and 2021. In the comparisons shown on this website, the figures for 2011 are broken down according to the municipalities of 2021.

Locality

A locality is defined as a distinct population cluster, that is an area defined by population living in neighbouring or contiguous buildings. This area constitutes a group of buildings, none of which is separated from its nearest neighbour by more than 200 meters.

The Belgian municipalities have changed between 2011 and 2021. In the comparisons shown on this website, the figures for 2011 are broken down according to the municipalities of 2021.

Situation matrimoniale légale

La situation matrimoniale légale représente la situation légale d'un individu au regard des lois concernant le mariage et le partenariat enregistré.

La législation belge connaît la notion de cohabitation légale, notion qui ne répond que partiellement au concept de partenariat enregistré, puisqu'elle n'implique pas d'obligations conjugales légales entre deux personnes. Ainsi, une cohabitation légale peut être conclue entre, par exemple, un frère et sa sœur, ou entre un père et son fils. Afin de fournir une évaluation la plus fidèle possible du concept de partenariat enregistré, les individus présentant des liens de parenté entre eux ont été soustraits de la population des cohabitants légaux.

Cohabitation légale

Un couple est considéré comme vivant en « partenariat enregistré » lorsqu’il a fait une déclaration de cohabitation légale et qu’il n’existe aucun lien de parenté entre les deux cohabitants ou encore s’il a conclu un partenariat sous une forme légale dans un pays étranger.

Remark

The comparison with the previous Census requires some caution: this publication is based on the Belgian population and the Census 2011 has as reference the European definition of the population.

Information on the difference between the Belgian population and the Census 2011 population.


[1] COMMISSION IMPLEMENTING REGULATION (EU) 2017/543 of 22 March 2017 laying down rules for the application of Regulation (EC) No 763/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on population and housing censuses as regards the technical specifications of the topics and of their breakdowns.

[2]Information on the difference between the Belgian population and the Census 2011 population.