Sports policy research in the city of Antwerp
Antwerp, with a population of almost half a million inhabitants, is the largest city of Flanders, the northern Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. It is one of the largest port-towns and the most important diamond centre in the world. Antwerp has a typical demographic profile of a large Western European city of today. For example, it is characterised by a clear ageing of its inhabitants. Over the last 15 years, there has been an increase of almost 14 per cent in the ratio of senior citizens (over 65 years of age) to young people (under 15 years), resulting in a ratio of 1.21:1 in 1996. These data indicate that there is an overrepresentation of the elderly and that it is increasing over time. Also, Antwerp has a large group of Moroccan and Turkish immigrants, who are mainly situated in specific old inner city areas. Almost 50 per cent of this population consists of youngsters under the age of 20. Furthermore, there is a distinct decrease in the average size of households. Almost half of all households in Antwerp consist of only one person, considerably exceeding the national average.