in 2018 compared to 2017
Many residents who do hold Belgian nationality have roots which lie elsewhere. Migration inflows remain high, especially from Eastern Europe. More new residents come from abroad than are born in Ghent itself.
There are a lot of children in the Ghent area, especially due to migration. More than half of children speak a language other than Dutch at home.
In 2018 there were over 74,000 students, compared with only 20,000 in 1990. These students often tend to stick around.
© photos: Bas Bogaerts / Dienst Toerisme Gent
visitors on the opening
De Krook opened its doors on 10 March 2017. In a spectacular opening weekend, 20,623 Ghent residents came to admire their new library. Support for the new library was already in evidence during the construction phase, when more than 1,100 people, young and old, formed a symbolic living chain to transfer books from the old to the new library. But its eventual success surpassed all expectations.
Even more positively, this success proved lasting. In its first year, De Krook counted 1,893,735 visits and hosted 750 events. Peaks still exceed 7,000 visits per day, almost four times the number of visitors to the old library.
visits in its first year
new members in its first year
Remarkably, in its first year Ghent Library De Krook enrolled 31,756 new members, mainly young people and students. Precisely the group that dropped out en masse in the old library. Quite a result!