Belgium

Map Belgium
Maps copyright Hammond World Atlas Corp.

Flag of Belgium

Facts

Background: Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy.
Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands
Area land: 30,278 sq km
Area water: 250 sq km
Coastline: 66.5 km
Country name conventional long form: Kingdom of Belgium
Country name conventional short form: Belgium
Country name former: Kingdom of Belgium
Population: 10,431,477 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 15.9% (male 846,706/female 812,486); 15-64 years: 66.1% (male 3,475,404/female 3,416,060); 65 years and over: 18% (male 783,895/female 1,096,926) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.071% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 10.06 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 10.57 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 1.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.045 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female; total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.33 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 4.86 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 3.78 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.51 years; male: 76.35 years; female: 82.81 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 1.65 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.2% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 14,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 100 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Belgian(s); adjective: Belgian;
Ethnic groups: Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%;
Religions: Roman Catholic 75%, other (includes Protestant) 25%;
Languages: Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99%; male: 99%; female: 99% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $396.9 billion (2010 est.); $388.7 billion (2009 est.); $399.5 billion (2008 est.);

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate): $461.3 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 2.1% (2010 est.); -2.7% (2009 est.); 0.8% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $37,900 (2010 est.); $37,300 (2009 est.); $38,400 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 0.7%; industry: 22.1%; services: 77.2% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 15.2% (2007 est.);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.4%; highest 10%: 28.4% (2006);
Labor force: 5.02 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 2%; industry: 25%; services: 73% (2007 est.);
Unemployment rate: 8.5% (2010 est.); 7.9% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $220.6 billion; expenditures: $242.6 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum;
Industrial production growth rate: 4% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 82.17 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 84.88 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 6.561 billion kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 17.16 billion kWh (2008 est.);

Statistics: CIA World Factbook.

Press

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Displaying 15 to 16 of 16 items.

L'Echo

(Financial), Brussels
http://www.echonet.be/

New Europe

(European weekly), Brussels
http://www.neurope.eu/

Belgium in the News

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Displaying 5 to 6 of 6 items.

Dignity in Death

Rarely do Africans seeking to sneak into Europe receive respect, or even a dignified departure home, if caught. But two teenage stowaways from Guinea hoping to enter Belgium recently got a ceremonial return home. Unfortunately, they were dead.

Separate Languages

In the conservative daily National Post of Ontario, Carl Honore reports on the widening rift between the Flemish-speaking majority and the French minority that threatens to tear Belgium apart.

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