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.
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New report shows Belgium’s expat numbers reach record high
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.”
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.
With Dutch as its official language, Flanders (Dutch: Vlaanderen) is the northern region of Belgium. The capital of both Belgium and Flanders is Brussels.