Belgium, a well-developed country in Western Europe. Its parliamentary system consists of federal constitutional monarchy. The three autonomous regions of the country are the Flemish region, Wallonia Region, and the Brussels Capital Region. In early times, it was a part of Low Countries, which also include northern France and West Germany. Belgium is called “Battle Field of Europe.” Because it was used as a battleground by many European powers during the Second World War. From the end of the Middle Ages to the 17th century, the country remained a prosperous center for commerce and culture. Belgium arose as a separate state, after its separation from the Netherlands following Belgium revolution. Due to linguistic diversity and political conflicts, its governance system made up of six different governments. Belgium was the first European country to attend the Industrial Revolution in the early 20th century.
Clashes that arise between Dutch and French-speaking citizens due to unequal economic development in Flanders and Wallonia became a great tension in the 20th century. Several reforms were introduced to reduce the conflict, which led to federalism from the unitary state from 1970 to 1993. Even after the Reformation, there were tensions, especially among Flemish groups separatism, and controversial language laws were observed. Belgium took 18 months to form a coalition government following the federal election in June 2010.
The main ethnic groups of Belgium are Flemish community, French, and Greek. Among them, the Flemish community is predominantly occupying 60% of the population; French is about 40% in the population, and Greeks are in very lower amounts. Italians are the largest group of immigrants; they are accounting 4% of its population. The largest Muslim ethnic group of the country was Moroccans.
The country shares its border with Netherland, Germany, Luxembourg, France, and the North Sea. On its total area of 30,689 square kilometers, it contains water of about 6.5%. The three main geographical regions of the country are coastal plains, the central plateau, and the Ardennes uplands. The coastal plains are mostly dunes seen on the northwest. The Ardennes uplands are a dense forest region with the terrain and rolling hills in the southeast. Belgium faced a lot of environmental problems due to its location, high population, and industrialization. But today, Belgium is one of the leading countries in terms of environmental protection, and it also has the highest recycling rates in Europe.
The population in 2019 was 11.5 million, and its population is the 6th largest in Europe. Its population density of 376 people per square kilometers makes it the 22nd most densely populous country in the world. The life expectancy at birth on the total population was 82 years. Brussels is the most densely populated capital city of Belgium. In 2019, the population of Flanders is 6,589,069, Wallonia is 3,633,795 and Brussels is 1,208,542.In the Flemish region, Antwerp province is densely populated, and Luxembourg in the Wallonia region is least densely populated.
Roman Catholicism occupied the important place in Belgium politics since from the freedom. Hence, Roman Catholicism is the main religion of Belgium. Legally recognized religions of Belgium are Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The majority of Christians in Belgium are the followers of Roman Catholicism. Some others follow Protestantism, Orthodox churches, and Anglicanism. In 2019, Belgium has 54% Catholicism, 3% Protestantism, 1% Orthodoxy, 2% other Christians, 21% Agnosticism, 10% Atheism, 5% Islam and 4% other religions.
Dutch, French, and German are the official languages of Belgium. Belgian Dutch speaks by 60% of the population, and Belgian French by 40%. The Flemish people are the native speakers of Dutch. The Walloon region holds the majority of the German-speaking community. Walloon is a Romance language occasionally spoken by older people.
The Country’s Economy is highly service-oriented. Its economy is classified based on employees with high productivity, high GNP, and high exports per capita. The machinery and equipment, metal products, chemicals, finished diamonds, and foodstuffs are the main exports of Belgium. The development of the mining and steel-making industry in the Sambre and Meuse valley put the country in the leading industrialized nation from 1830 to 1910. Ghent and Antwerp cities in the Flemish region saw large scale expansion in chemical and petrochemical industries. The country has a GDP of $542.761 million in 2018 and has an annual GDP growth of 1.5%. It ranks 17th among 189 countries.
Belgium Country Code : BE
Belgium Dialing Code: +32