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You are the 415.000

Your vote counts.

This is the tagline of an article published recently by the Bulletin.


In order to show you that they are right (your vote DOES count!), we have crunched the numbers for you.


According to IBSA – BISA, on January 1st 2017, Brussels was home to 414.139 expats Brusseleirs with a non-Belgian nationality.

About 275K of these are EU nationals, the remaining 139K are from outside the EU.

Let’s visualise these numbers on the total population of Brussels (1.191.604)

The EU nationals make up almost a quarter of the population; EU nationals and other non-Belgians together make up more than a third.

But there’s an interesting additional observation:

When looking solely at the distribution of adults (the number one prerequisite for voting), the portion of expats non-Belgian Brusseleirs shoots up to 37% (unfortunately, those numbers are not available per commune; we therefore chose to stick to the more pessimistic minors+adults distributions)

This is not trivial. At all.

It is time to claim your spot

Despite this clear presence of both groups in Brussels’ society, the percentage of registered voters is relatively low.

With the communal elections in October in mind, we feel that all Brusseleirs should have a say in how they are governed. It’s time to claim your spot! In some communes (see below), the percentage of expats non-Belgian Brusseleirs reaches almost 50%!

Let that sink in for while. You can really make a difference! You are the 415K.

Brussels is your home. Care for her. Register. Vote.



The charts below show the demographics per commune, ordered by EU portion size*:

*chosen as ordering criterion because we don’t have data on the voting eligibility in the Other group.

As said before: in the context of elections, the EU portion on the total is higher than depicted. This is caused by the following factors:

  • the percentages shown cover the total population, minors included. Minors are not eligible to vote.
  • on average, the percentage of adults in the EU and Other group is 5 points higher than in the BE group
  • the Other group has stricter constraints on voting eligibility, giving the EU group a relative gain on the total


Source: – nationalities 2017
Photo by Louis Smit on Unsplash