One third more self-employed foreign nationals active in Belgium than five years ago

The number of self-employed foreign nationals working in Belgium has increased by a third in five years. This was the conclusion of an analysis by the employers' organisation NSZ (Neutral Syndicate for the Self-Employed) on Thursday, based on figures from the RSVZ (National Institute for the Social Insurance of the Self-Employed). The number of self-employed foreign nationals has thus increased much faster than the general increase in the number of self-employed people.

In 2021, 160,839 foreign self-employed were active in our country, from a total of just over 1.23 million freelancers. With that, foreigners represent 13 percent of the total number of self-employed people. "Compared to 2017, this is a spectacular increase," the NSZ notes. In five years, their number has increased by 34 percent. This while the total number of self-employed has only increased by 13 percent.

The top three foreign nationalities have remained the same, although the number of Romanians is rising sharply. Romanians were already number one in 2017, but over the past five years their share has increased by almost 60 percent, to more than 40,000. This makes them one-fifth of all foreign self-employed. They are followed by the Dutch (12.3 percent) and the French (11.5 percent).



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