Food deserts and swamps have previously been mostly studied in Anglo-Saxon countries such as the USA and Great Britain. This research is one of the first studies to map food deserts and swamps in a mainland European, densely populated but heavily fragmented region such as Flanders. The evolution of food deserts and swamps between 2008 and 2020 was assessed. Special focus was given to areas where high numbers of elderly, young people and/or families with low income live. Food deserts were calculated based on supermarket access within 1000 m and bus stop availability, while food swamps were calculated using the Modified Food Environment Retail Index. The main cause behind the formation of food deserts in Flanders is its rapidly aging population. Food deserts with a higher number of older people increased from 2.5% to 3.1% of the residential area between 2008 and 2020, housing 2.2% and 2.8% of the population, respectively. Although the area that could become a food desert in the future due to these sociospatial and demographic evolutions is large, food deserts are currently a relatively small problem in Flanders in comparison to the widespread existence of food swamps. Unhealthy retailers outnumbered healthy retailers in 74% of residential areas in 2020, housing 88.2% of the population. These food swamps create an environment where unhealthy food choices predominate. Residential areas with a higher number of elderly people, young people and families with low incomes had healthier food environments than Flanders as a whole, because these areas are mostly found in dense urban centers where the ratio of healthy food retailers to all retailers is higher. This research showed that food deserts and swamps could be a growing problem in European regions with a high population density that experience the high pressures of competing land uses.