Thematic Mapping: Dutch people in Belgium

Creating a thematic map in a few clicks? At Mappixie, we’re making it possible. A few days ago the Belgian government published the number of inhabitants of all communes by nationality. In this post we investigate where people originating from the Netherlands are living in Belgium.

To visualize this, we create a choropleth map. First we make some simple adjustments to the given spreadsheet to retain only the parts needed for our purpose: we remove the summary rows on top and all columns except those titled “Nederland” and “Totaal”. We use the latter columns to calculate the number of Dutch people per 1000 inhabitants. The NIS code of each commune is also retained and provides the Mappixie software with a reference to a known geographical area.

11001 Aartselaar 7,406889805
11002 Antwerpen 30,4042211312

Now we feed this data to our tool (not public yet) and a few seconds later we get this image:

Dutch people in Belgium (linear scale)

Map of Dutch people living in Belgium per 1000 inhabitants.

Not entirely surprising, it becomes clear that Dutch people are concentrated near the Belgian-Dutch border. These are mostly commuters that live in Belgium, but work in the Netherlands 1. (Real estate prices are lower in Belgium, but income taxes are lower in the Netherlands)

In order to visualize the Dutch population located in the rest of Belgium, we use Quantile Data Classification. This method classifies data into a certain number of categories, equally distributing the units in each category. Quantile Data Classification uses the color spectrum more effectively and allows us to see smaller changes in concentration between the different communes.

Dutch people in Belgium (quantiles)

Map of Dutch people living in Belgium per 1000 inhabitants, using quantile data classification.

Now we see that the area in the southeast of Brussels and the Ardennes are popular regions as well.

Please do not hesitate to contact us or leave a comment if you would like to map your own data or to see where people from other nationalities live in Belgium.

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