Belgium | Facts & Information

Updated July 7, 2022 | Infoplease Staff

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Facts & Figures

  • Sovereign: King Philippe (2013)

    Prime Minister: Charles Michel (2014)

    Land area: 11,672 sq mi (30,230 sq km); total area: 11,787 sq mi (30,528 sq km)

    Population (2014 est.): 10,449,361 (growth rate: 0.05%); birth rate: 9.99/1000; infant mortality rate: 4.18/1000; life expectancy: 79.92

    Capital and largest city (2011 est.): Brussels, 1.949 million

    Other large city: Antwerp 959,000 (2011)

    Monetary unit: Euro (formerly Belgian franc)

    National name: Royaume de Belgique—Koninkrijk België

    Current Government Officials

    Languages: Dutch (Flemish) 60%, French 40%, German less than 1% (all official)

    Ethnicity/race: Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%

    Religion: Roman Catholic 75%, Protestant or other 25%

    National Holiday: Ascension to the Throne of King Leopold I, July 21

    Literacy rate: 99% (2003 est.)

    Economic summary: GDP/PPP $421.7 billion; per capita $37,800. Real growth rate: 0.1%. Inflation: 1.3%. Unemployment: 8.8%. Arable land: 27.06%. Agriculture: sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk. Labor force: 5.15 million (2011 est.); agriculture 2%, industry 25%, services 73% (2007 est.). Industries: engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum. Natural resources: construction materials, silica sand, carbonates. Exports: $295.3 billion (2013 est.): machinery and equipment, chemicals, diamonds, metals and metal products, foodstuffs. Imports: $310.2 billion (2013 est.): machinery and equipment, chemicals, diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products. Major trading partners: Germany, France, Netherlands, UK, U.S., Italy, Ireland (2012).

    Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 4.631 million (2012); mobile cellular: 12.88 million (2012). Broadcast media: a segmented market with the three major communities (Flemish, French, and German-speaking) each having responsibility for their own broadcast media; multiple TV channels exist for each community; additionally, in excess of 90% of households are connected to cable and can access broadcasts of TV stations from neighboring countries; each community has a public radio network co-existing with private broadcasters (2007). Internet hosts: 5.192 million (2012). Internet users: 8.113 million (2009).

    Transportation: Railways: total: 3,233 km (2,950 km electrified) (2011). Highways: total: 154,012 km; paved: 120,514 km; unpaved: 33,498 km (2010). Waterways: 2,043 km (1,528 km in regular commercial use) (2012). Ports and terminals: major seaports: Oostende, Zeebrugge; river ports: Antwerp, Gent (Schelde River); Brussels (Senne River); Liege (Meuse River). Airports: 41 (2013).

    International disputes: none.

    Major sources and definitions