Belgium facts and figures

Belgium

Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830 and was occupied
by Germany during World Wars I and II. It has 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:

total: 30,510 sq km

land: 30,230 sq km

water: 280 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 1,385 km

border countries: France 620 km, Germany 167 km, Luxembourg 148 km, Netherlands
450 km

Climate:

temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy

Terrain:

flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains
of Ardennes Forest in southeast

Land use:

arable land: 25%

permanent crops: 0%

note: includes Luxembourg (1998 est.)

other: 75%

Population:

10,289,088 (July 2003 est.)

Nationality:

noun: Belgian(s)

adjective: Belgian

Languages:

Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than
1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)