Belgium is in 13th place in the OECD in terms of the share of immigrants in its population, with the foreign-born accounting for 13% of the total population. The foreign-born population is on average less educated than across OECD countries, with 28% of highly educated compared with 31% across OECD countries. 43% come from an OECD high-income country and 50% from a country with the same official language.

Native-born offspring of immigrants represent 7.1% of the 15-34 population. They have on average lower educational attainment than the offspring of the native-born (with 18% of them highly educated compared with 45.9% of the offspring of the native-born). They are much less likely to be employed than the latter and differences in educational attainment account for 29% of the differences between the two groups.

The immigrant household median income in Belgium is in the bottom half of OECD countries and its level is 30% lower than the native-born one (compared with -21% across OECD countries). 22% of persons living in an immigrant household live with income below the poverty line, compared with an average of 17% across OECD countries.



Infomation on the figures by topic:

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Topic Definition
Housing Immigrants living in a suitably-sized dwelling, %, 2009
Income Annual equivalised disposable income, USD, 2008
Health Foreign-born adults reporting to be in good health, %, 2009
Education Mean reading score of native-born children of immigrants, points, PISA 2009
Employment Employment rate of the foreign-born population (15-64), %, 2009-10
Skill matching Highly educated immigrants (15-64) in highly skilled jobs, % of highly educated immigrant employed, 2009-10
Naturalisation Persons naturalised in 2010 as a % of the foreign population in 2009


Foreign-born population
1.4 million
12.7 % of total population
Foreign-born population (15-64)
  Belgium OECD average
Recent immigrants
  .. 17%
Highly educated
  28% 31%
From an OECD high-income country
  43% 28%
From country with same official language
  50% 27%