Belgium facts and figures


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


Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands


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


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


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%


10,289,088 (July 2003 est.)


noun: Belgian(s)

adjective: Belgian


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