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Immigration has a very beneficial effect on Belgium's economy!

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

Immigration has a very beneficial effect on the Belgian economy.

In 2020, the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) published a study on the economic impact of immigration and concluded that GDP increases by 3.5% due to immigration.

However, the NBB estimates that :

"(...) Belgium is among the worst performers in the EU when it comes to integration of immigrants.

In 2019, 61% of them were employed, almost 12 percentage points less than natives. Personal characteristics explain only 18% of this gap. The second generation has a more favourable labour market integration and a large part of the gap with natives can be explained (46%). The main disadvantage seems to be the educational opportunities that occur.

People migrating for family reunification or international protection are 30 percentage points less likely to find a job than a migrant worker.

Acquiring the citizenship, recognising of diplomas and competences, mastering the languages of the host country and discrimination all have a significant impact on the integration of immigrants. Belgium's poor performance in this area is not only caused by the the education level of the immigrants, but also by the rigidity of the Belgian labour market and the fact that few policies are specifically designed to help immigrants find a job.

A theoretical calibrated model for Belgium, shows that over the last five years the migration flows have had a positive impact on GDP, increasing it by 3.5%. The effect is positive for both European and non-European immigrants flows, with an increase of 2% for the first one and 1.5% for the last one. Furthermore, there were no negative effect on immigration for natives in terms of wages, unemployment, participation, net income or well-being (...)".


Immigration has a very positive effect on the Belgian economy and the country has understood that it is very important to implement policies that are favourable to the integration of foreigners in Belgium!

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