Thursday, March 21, 2013

Demographic Shifts Lead to Nearly 25% of Belgium Not Being Belgian

Demographic shifts have led to twenty-four percent of Belgium's population being foreigners, according to sociologist Jan Hertogen.  The blog Le Soir has two maps which show the breakdown of native-born Belgians and foreign-born Belgians and aliens.

Click map for link to live interactive map.
Belgium's very liberal migration laws and open European borders have allowed for such growth.  The great 20th and 21st centuries international migrations and their demographic shifts have largely been overlooked by many geographers.  The probability of a Christian majority in Qatar, the large Christian plurality in Bahrain, the non-white majority of London, England, and the foreign-born majority of Toronto, Canada all are real but ignored because they do not fit are 1900s-stereotype of what a place is like.  However, demographic changes of this magnitude can be as light as changing electoral demographics to as impactful as bringing down countries.  How will a divided Wallon and Flemish Belgian react to a third new front of non-Belgians who are mostly non-European?  Time will tell.

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