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New report shows Belgium’s expat numbers reach record high

A whopping 220,000: that’s how many expats – highly educated foreigners – are currently living and working in Belgium and Flanders as a region. Compared to the year 2000, their number rose by nearly 50 percent, according to a study by market leader in expatriate housing Skyline Europe. And what’s more: the idea of expats settling in the richest neighborhoods is just another stereotype. 

The presence of European institutions is the main driver for expats to move to Brussels

In 2000, an estimated 150,000 highly educated foreigners were working and living in Belgium. Today, their number has risen to some 220,000. This increase is remarkable and shows that the financial crisis, Brexit and shady events in recent times don’t keep professionals from moving to the European capital.

Brussels is Europe's most attractive city

More and more expats – short for expatriates – are finding their way to Flanders’ big cities, such as Antwerp and Ghent. Brussels, however, remains the city that attracts the highest number. The presence of European institutions is the main driver for expats to move to Brussels, now more than ever, according to Skyline Europe.

“The number of expats living in Brussels keeps on rising, right to the point where the city is now the number one expat destination in Europe and claims a spot in the global top 3 after New York and Washington DC,” spokesman Kristof Schellekens explains. “Brussels being one of the three important backdrops of the international political scene certainly makes it a very attractive place to make a living.”

The expats’ profile

According to Skyline Europe’s report, most expats come from Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic and the US. “Moreover, the average expat is somewhere between 25 and 40 years old. Most of them work for the European Union and NATO, but quite a number of them are employed by multinationals such as Audi and Toyota,” Schellekens adds.

More info

Skyline Europe
Reported by
30 November 2017

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