The FPB’s studies cover 11 main themes: Energy, Environmental economic accounts and analyses, International economy, Labour market, Macroeconomic forecasts and analyses, Public finances, Sectoral accounts and analyses, Social protection, demography and prospective studies, Structural studies, Sustainable development, Transport.
Excess mortality in 2020 is estimated at 16,000 deaths. These 16,000 people lost a combined 124,000 years of life, given their life expectancy, or an average of 7.7 years per person. These values seem to show that COVID-19 did not just cause the death of the most vulnerable people who, in the absence of the epidemic, would have died anyway in the next weeks or months.
This publication presents the main results of the demographic outlook for Belgium: population, households, births, deaths, international migration and internal migration. To show the sensitivity of the results to some assumptions, three alternative scenarios are analysed: one linked to the health crisis (Covid-19), another modifying the long-term mortality assumption and a last one adjusting the assumption on international emigration.
This Working Paper presents the methodology that has been applied since 2020 in the model used to draw up the population outlook for Belgium. The methodology considers that fertility is explained by both structural (education, labour market participation, etc.) and cyclical factors (the economic cycle, etc.). Those factors are taken into account through three elements: (1) expert opinion on long-term fertility trends, (2) an explicit trend in the fertility schedule and (3) the effect of cyclical and structural determinants of fertility using an error-correction model.
Demography – principally, population and households – plays a role in numerous themes examined by the FPB.
The Population projections are a key parameter for studying the impact of ageing, an issue of growing concern for policymakers in Belgium and other European countries.
Population ageing, or the growing ratio of elderly people in the population, is primarily the result of both a decreasing fertility rate and the sustained prolongation of life expectancy. This evolution takes its toll on the public budget. The changes in the demographic structure lead to a decrease in the working-age population likely to pay social contributions and taxes on the one hand, and increase the number of elderly people who receive public pensions and a larger amount of health care on the other hand.
The essential parameters determining population should therefore be studied carefully: fertility, probability of death and decision to migrate within the country, to emigrate or to immigrate.
In addition to being one of the components of the demographic model, the projection of mortality rates is necessary because of the law of 28 April 2003 on supplementary pensions. The law provides that the FSMA bases its actualisation rules for converting capital to interest on the FPB’s prospective mortality tables.
Studying the population from the perspective of ‘households’ is also very useful for various social aspects (e.g. increase in single-parent families – the parent often being a single woman – households composed of an older person who might be confronted with poverty or insufficient support) and economic aspects (impact on housing, transport, mobility, consumption, taxation, etc.) of life. Within that framework and in line with the population projects, the FPB also draws up household projections.
For demographic projections, three models are used: