Who is a migrant? Implications of definition on the migrant stock in Belgium

Edith Lodewijckx, Research Centre of the Flemish Government

Three different definitions of ‘migrants’ are commonly used in Belgium: non-nationals, immigrants and persons of foreign origin. Using data from the national population register, the corresponding migrant stocks are compared. Not surprisingly, the size of the migrant stock varies accordingly. The differences in stock size depend on the region of origin. Consequently, the stocks differ in their composition according to region of origin. Furthermore, age and gender distributions vary between the 3 migrant stocks. The observed differences are explained by migration history and adoption of Belgian nationality. In conclusion, it will be obvious that policy needs to be well aware that the pervasive denomination ‘migrants’ may actually refer to very different target groups.

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Presented in Poster Session 3