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

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Overview Belgium (French Community)

Contents

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

Belgium-French-Community:Historical Development

Belgium-French-Community:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

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

Belgium-French-Community:Political and Economic Situation

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Belgium-French-Community:Lifelong Learning Strategy

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

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Private Education

Belgium-French-Community:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Belgium-French-Community:Funding in Education

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

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training Funding

Belgium-French-Community:Early Childhood Education and Care

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

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

Belgium-French-Community:Primary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Primary Education

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

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Primary Education

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Belgium-French-Community:Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Belgium-French-Community:First Cycle Programmes

Belgium-French-Community:Bachelor

Belgium-French-Community:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Belgium-French-Community:Second Cycle Programmes

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Adult Education and Training

Belgium-French-Community:Distribution of Responsibilities

Belgium-French-Community:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Belgium-French-Community:Main Providers

Belgium-French-Community:Main Types of Provision

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

Belgium-French-Community:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Management and Other Education Staff

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

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

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Management Staff for Higher Education

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

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance

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

Belgium-French-Community:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

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

Belgium-French-Community:Educational Support and Guidance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility and Internationalisation

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

Belgium-French-Community:Mobility in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

Belgium-French-Community:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Belgium-French-Community:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

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

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in School Education

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

Belgium-French-Community:National Reforms in Higher Education

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

Belgium-French-Community:European Perspective

Belgium-French-Community:Legislation

Belgium-French-Community:Glossary

Demographics

With 11,150,516 inhabitants in a territory of 30,528 sq. km (32,545 sq. km including Belgian territorial waters in the North Sea), the average population density of Belgium on January 1, 2014 was 366 inhabitants per sq. km: 213 inhabitants per sq. km in the Walloon Region, 475 inhabitants per sq. km in the Flemish Region, and 7,227 inhabitants per sq. km in the Brussels-Capital Region (with an area of only 161 sq. km).

The population is characterised by significant ageing (the average age of the Belgian population in 2014 was 41.1 years). In 2013, life expectancy at birth for the population resident in Belgium was 77.94 years for men and 82.93 years for women. Life expectancy is higher in the Flemish Region than in both the Walloon Region (by more than two years), and the Brussels-Capital Region (by one year). The age pyramid reflects this ageing and demonstrates the impact of the two World Wars on the birth rate. According to Eurostat, the gross birth and mortality rates in 2013 were 11.2 and 9.8 respectively.

95% of the population lives in urban areas. The main urban conglomeration is Brussels (over 1 million inhabitants for all of Brussels’ municipalities). The municipalities with the largest populations are Antwerp (514,445 inhabitants), Ghent (252,656 inhabitants), Charleroi (203,163 inhabitants), Liège (196,911 inhabitants) and Brussels (176,151 inhabitants) on September 1, 2014.

The balance of immigration over emigration is positive, but has little influence on current population trends in Belgium. On January 1, 2013, the Italian (157,426 habitants), French (153,413), Dutch (143,977) and Moroccan (79,867) nationalities were the most numerous, with variations depending on the regions. On January 1, 2014, there were 1,214,605 foreigners living in Belgium, i.e. 10.9% of the total population.

Languages

Belgium’s official languages are Dutch, French and German.

The concept of minority language is not used in Belgium. Nevertheless, regional dialects (Walloon, Gaumais, Picardy, etc.) and immigrant languages (Italian, Arabic, Spanish, Turkish and Portuguese, in particular) are spoken by some sections of the population.

Belgium signed the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities on 31 July 2001. In September 2002, in response to this ratification, the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe stated in its Resolution 1301 (2002) that the following groups could be considered national minorities in Belgium: at the State level, the entire German-speaking Community; at the Regional level, the French-speakers living in the Dutch-speaking Region and the German-speaking Region, and the Dutch- and German-speakers living in the French-speaking Region. This Convention has not yet been recognised by the Flemish Region. The teaching language is that of the linguistic region. Thus, the teaching language is French in the French-speaking region and, depending on the choice of the parents, French or Dutch in the bilingual Brussels-Capital Region.

Under certain conditions, certain scheduled courses and educational activities may be given in sign language or a modern language other than French (immersion education in l’enseignement fondamental or secondary education). In higher education, courses may in part be given in a language other than French. Some aspects of foreign language teaching are also governed by language legislation.

Religions

The Constitution (coordinated version of February, 17, 1994) guarantees the separation of Church and State. Freedom of religion and of public worship and freedom of speech are also guaranteed.

A significant proportion of the population describes itself as Catholic, but the majority is not practicing.

All students in compulsory education are entitled to moral or religious education, the costs of which are borne by the Community (Article 24 of the Constitution). Thus, every child may benefit from instruction in non-denominational ethics or in one of the five recognised religions (Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, Orthodoxy or Protestantism).