Europese topper: Portugal 2 ( )

Nederland: 27 ( )

België: 29 ( )

Aantal landen opgenomen in de ranking: 31


This indicator measures the labour market participation of the foreign-born population. It looks at the ratio of the foreign-born employed people and jobseekers between 15 and 64 years of age versus all foreign-born inhabitants of a country in the age category. Note that these do not measure the population of foreign origin’ which is often described as someone whose mother did not have Belgian nationality at birth.


Although our general population participation rate of 68% is disappointing, the 65.2% for foreign-born is even lower. Within the OECD, only Turkey and Mexico do worse.
Iceland retains the top position with an even better result than for the total population, with no less than 90.6% foreign-born labour market participation. This is, however, closely linked to the influx, which largely consists of (skilled) workers from neighbouring countries, Europe or other Western countries. At 82.6%, Portugal is the best-performing country comparable to Belgium.

It is striking that the Netherlands scores 5th for general population labour market participation, yet falls to 27th here (foreign-born population), hardly better than Belgium.

OECD, “Foreign-Born Participation Rates (Indicator)”

Year 2017
1 Iceland
2 Portugal
3 Switzerland
4 Israel
5 Czech Republic
6 Sweden
7 Canada
8 Spain
9 Estonia
10 United Kingdom
11 Hungary
12 Norway
13 Poland
14 Luxembourg
15 Greece
16 Ireland
17 Australia
18 United States
19 Slovak Republic
20 Austria
27 Netherlands
29 Belgium