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Belgium-Flemish-Community:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

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Overview Belgium (Flemish Community)

Contents

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Historical Development

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Political and Economic Situation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation and Governance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Private Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Qualifications Framework

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Funding in Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Higher Education Funding

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Adult Education and Training Funding

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Childcare

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Childcare

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Childcare

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Pre-Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Pre-Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Pre-Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of the First Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in the First Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in the First Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of the Second and Third Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in the Second and Third Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in the Second and Third Stage of Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Organisation of secondary-after-secondary education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teaching and learning in secondary-after-secondary education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Assessment in secondary-after-secondary education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Belgium-Flemish-Community:First Cycle Programmes

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Bachelor

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Distribution of Responsibilities

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Providers

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Main Types of Provision

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Teachers and Education Staff

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management and Other Education Staff

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management Staff for Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Educational Support and Guidance

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility and Internationalisation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in School Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms in Higher Education

Belgium-Flemish-Community:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Belgium-Flemish-Community:European Perspective

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Legislation

Belgium-Flemish-Community:Glossary

Demographic Situation

Population by region in 2000

            Flemish Region           

Walloon Region

(incl. the German-speaking Comm.)

       Brussels-Capital Region     
              Belgium             
population on 1/1/2000         
5.940.251
3.339.516
959.318
10.239.085
births 2000
61.877
39.380
13.626
114.883
deaths 2000
57.502
37.188
10.213
104.903
surface area
13.522 km²
16.844 km²
168 km²
30.528 km²
population density
439/km²
198/km²
5.695/km²
335/km²

 

Population by region in 2005

            Flemish Region          

Walloon Region

(incl. the German-speaking Comm.)

       Brussels-Capital Region      
              Belgium             
population on 1/1/2005         
6.043.161
3.395.942
1.006.749
10.445.852
births 2005
63.906
38.604
15.492
118.002
deaths 2005
56.890
36.691
9.697
103.278
surface area
13.522 km²
16.844 km²
168 km²
30.528 km²
population density
447/km²
202/km²
5.977/km²
342/km²

 

Population by region in 2012

            Flemish Region           

Walloon Region

(incl. the German-speaking Comm.)

       Brussels-Capital Region     
              Belgium             
population on 1/1/2012         
6.350.765
3.546.329
1.138.854
11.035.948
births 2012
68.549
39.882
18.562
126.993
deaths 2012
61.124
38.218
9.692
109.034
surface area
13.522 km²
16.844 km²
168 km²
30.528 km²
population density
470/km²
211/km²
6.761/km²
362/km²

Based on data by Federal Public Service Economy (Algemene Directie Statistiek en Economische Informatie ADSEI) and the Study Service of the Flemish Government, 2014

Flanders is an extremely densely populated region. Its population has doubled over the past 100 years and currently stands at more than 6 million residents.

Urbanised areas clearly predominate in Flanders. The most densely populated areas can be found in the centre, in the diamond formed by Antwerp, Leuven, Brussels and Ghent. In 2012 there were three Flemish cities with more than 100.000 residents: Antwerp (502.604 residents, 2.458/km2), Ghent (248.242 residents, 1.589/km2) and Bruges (117.170 residents, 847/km2). Brussels City numbers 166.497 residents, Schaarbeek 127.747 and Anderlecht 111.279. On average, villages are five kilometres apart and cities twenty kilometres. About half of the population lives either in an urban or in a suburban area. Almost 25% of the total surface area of Flanders consists of built-up land and sites, of which 10,5% is a residential area (source: Study Service of the Flemish Goverment, 2014).


Population in Flanderes by gender and age

Men 0-9 y. 10-19 y. 20-29 y. 30-39 y. 40-49 y. 50-59 y. 60-69 y 70-79 y. 80-89 y. 90+ Total
2005 326.005 360.350 371.527 431.672 478.273 401.840 297.253 226.115 78.317 8.473 2.979.825
2010 341.912 361.727 378.463 406.543 483.316 434.368 326.446 241.625 102.641 8.293 3.085.334
2013 356.957 352.656 386.536 406.491 472.365 457.332 356.250 234.339 115.864 12.616 3.151.466

 

Women 0-9 y. 10-19 y. 20-29 y. 30-39 y. 40-49 y. 50-59 y. 60-69 y. 70-79 y. 80-89 y. 90+ Total
2005 312.109 344.254 361.940 420.733 464.774 392.155 312.778 286.683 139.352 28.558 3.063.336
2010 325.952 346.794 372.111 399.426 468.589 425.564 335.067 292.818 174.809 25.519 3.166.649
2013 340.511 338.094 380.365 399.678 459.037 449.095 363.338 277.544 188.458 34.273 3.230.393

Based on data from the Study Service of the Flemish Government, 2014    

Structure of the population

Youngster 0-17 y. Active age 18-64 y. Senior citizen 65+
2000 20,6% 62,7% 16,7%
2005 20,0% 62,3% 17,8%
2013 19,5% 61,7% 18,8%

 

Employment

Employment rate (20 - 64 y.) in the Flemish Region

2000 2005 2012
68,9% 70,4% 71,5%

 Source: Department of Work and Social Economy, in cooperation with the Policy Research Centre Work and Social Economy, 2014

Unemployment rate (20 - 64 y.) in the Flemish Region

2000 2005 2012
4,0% 5,3% 4,3%

Source: Department of Work and Social Economy, in cooperation with the Policy Research Centre Work and Social Economy, 2014

 

Migration

Evolution of international immigration and emigration in the Flemish Region, 2000-2011

International immigration International emigration
2000 23.111 10.277
2001 27.061 10.125
2002 29.079 9.839
2003 28.843 9.840
2004 29.055 10.022
2005 31.379 10.731
2006 34.842 11.684
2007 40.297 12.554
2008 43.925 14.264
2009 40.915 14.649
2010 45.799 14.356
2011 49.843 14.937

Source: Study Service of the Flemish Government

It concerns data on migration in the narrow sense. People changing from register, re-entering the register, or being officially removed from the registered are not taken into account here.

Official and minority languages

The Flemish Community's only official language is Dutch, which is also the teaching language.

Many Flemings have a good command of at least one or two other European languages (English, French, German‚...). Officially, there are no legally-recognised minority languages in Flanders. Some municipalities along the language boundary have been granted linguistic facilities with regard to French though.

One of the main factors leading to delays in the school career and to early school leaving is a limited or even absent knowledge of Dutch – the language of instruction in the Flemish Community. For this reason sufficient attention is paid to monitoring the knowledge of Dutch and to adapt the provision of Dutch language training to the needs of the pupil. Schools are expected to perform a wide screening of all children who enter for the first time in regular primary or secondary education in order to map their proficiency in Dutch. To this aim a “Toolkit Wide Evaluation Competences Dutch” has been developed which, on the principles of broad evaluation, offers a set of valid and reliable instruments to teachers and schools to measure the competences of Dutch. After this evaluation a school can set up a language trajectory tailor-made for each pupil individually. Remediation within regular classes is possible, but primary schools may also choose to organise language immersion classes, which offer intensive trainings of Dutch. Secondary schools may oblige Dutch classes after school for those pupils who do not master the Dutch language sufficiently to take part in the regular classes.

As concerns the policy on foreign languages schools are able to offer from 1 September 2014 the subject of French from the third year (second stage) of regular primary school. As introduced in 2004 the subject of French remains obligatory from the third stage (year 5) of primary education. Also foreign languages other than French, such as English – as an important world language – or German – as the third official language in Belgium – can be offered as initiation. Other languages may no longer be instructed in primary education. From 2014-2015 onwards schools in fulltime and part-time regular secondary education on the other hand may offer all living languages as the subject ‘modern foreign languages’ within the curriculum.

From 1 September 2014 onwards Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is possible in Flanders. This allowed for a former pilot project to be implemented in all interested secondary schools. A school implementing CLIL may teach up to 20% of all non-language subjects, such as geography, mathematics or physical education, in French, English or German. 

The languages spoken by migrants are not legally recognised as minority languages. The education authorities have paid special attention to and allocated extra resources to cater for foreign mother tongue newcomers and for pupils from a migrant or ethnic-minority background (see 12.3.2.2). Equal opportunities for all was after all pivotal in the education policy of the current Minister for Education and Training.

A number of French-speaking schools or sections in the municipalities with linguistic facilities fall under the remit of the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training. In 2012-2013 it concerned 1.136 pupils in mainstream pre-primary education and 1.788 pupils in mainstream primary education. In addition there are a couple of French-speaking divisions of Dutch-speaking schools with 96 pupils in mainstream pre-primary education, 149in mainstream primary education and 210 in mainstream secondary education (Source: Statistical Yearbook of Flemish Education 2012-2013).

Religions

The Belgian Constitution guarantees the separation of Church and State. In this context many social, cultural and educational matters are organised according to the principle of subsidiarity. This explains why the government in Flanders has no direct influence on the drawing up of the individual curricula. The government only has a clearly-defined right to inspect these curricula (see 5.13.2.; the inspections of philosophy-of-life courses are discussed under 9.3.4.1.). The Belgian Constitution actively supports philosophy-of-life pluralism. The salaries and pensions of the clergy of the recognised religions and organisations providing moral services on the basis of a non-confessional philosophy of life are paid by the State. The ministry in charge is the FPS Justice.

Belgium recognises the Catholic (1830), the Protestant (1830), the Jewish (1831), the Anglican (1835), the Islamic (1974), the Orthodox (1985) and the non-confessional communities (1993).

The various philosophies of life must have a representative body in order to be recognised.

Faiths Representative body
Catholic Archbishop and bishops (each at the level of their own diocese)
Protestant-Evangelical Administratieve Raad van de Protestants-evangelische eredienst - ARPEE) (Administrative Council for the Protestant-Evangelical Religion)
Orthodox His All Holiness Archbishop Bartholomew of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople
Anglican Centraal comité van de anglicaanse eredienst in België´ (Central Committee of the Anglican Church in Belgium)
Jewish Centraal Israëlitisch Consistorie van België´ (Central Jewish Consistory of Belgium)
Islamic vzw Islam Vlaanderen
Organised freethinkers Centrale raad der niet-confessionele levensbeschouwelijke gemeenschappen van België (Central Council of Non-confessional Philosophical Communities of Belgium)

The representative bodies of the Catholic and Islamic faiths and of the organised freethinkers receive operational subsidies.

As a result of secularization, there is a decline in people actively practising their faith. However, up-to-date information on this issue is lacking. According to the Catholic Bureau for Ecclesiastical Statistics, mass attendance dropped from 45 % (residents aged 5-69) in 1964 to 10 % in 1998 (final year of the count).

The Constitution guarantees (art. 24) that all children in primary and secondary education are entitled to 2 periods of philosophy-of-life education per week as part of the basic curriculum. Official education must respect the philosophical choice of all parents and offer the choice between religion and non-confessional ethics. However, both parents and pupils are free to ask for a personal exemption from either of these subjects. In that case, however, the education providers are obliged to provide a meaningful alternative for the pupil they granted the exemption to.

The content of the philosophy-of-life classes is not monitored by the government (as long as the classes do not compromise the democratic principles of society). This choice does not exist in subsidised private schools. A special arrangement is provided for schools organised on the basis of 'alternative' approaches to education such as Steiner and Freinet. Independent, free (subsidised private) schools can offer cultural concepts or indigenous culture and religion (cf. 2.7.1.7).

Philosophy of life education: number of pupils

Religion Mainstream primary education Mainstream secondary education
Catholic 314.053 340.127
Protestant 3.176 1.551
Jewish 1.322 766
Islamic 27.082 18.377
Orthodox 567 600
Anglican 13 11
Non-confessional ethics 42.272 54.530
Cultural concepts 2.944 1.111
Exemptions 922 1.744
TOTAL 392.351 418.817

Source: Statistical Yearbook of Flemish Education 2012-2013