Where is Belgium located?

What countries border Belgium?

Belgium Weather

What is the current weather in Belgium?

Belgium Facts and Culture

What is Belgium famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Belgium is one of the most densely populated nations in Europe. The country is divided into two main regions.... More
  • Family: The average Belgian family consists of two parents and two children; both parents usually work outside the home. Most families... More
  • Personal Apperance: European styles are common in Belgium. Belgium does not have a set of "traditional" clothes. Fashion is determined by... More
  • Recreation: Belgians are great sports enthusiasts. Cycling is the number one sport in the country, which boasts hundreds of miles of... More
  • Diet: Belgium is famous for seafood, chocolate, waffles, and fried potatoes which they claimed to have invented. Fried potatoes are... More
  • Food and Recipes: A typical Belgian family has three meals a day, eating breakfast and dinner together and lunch at school or work.... More
  • Visiting: The most popular way of socializing in Belgium is by meeting each other in a cafe or restaurant. Most Belgians... More

Belgium Facts

What is the capital of Belgium?

Capital Brussels
Government Type federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy
Currency Euro (EUR)
Total Area 11,787 Square Miles
30,528 Square Kilometers
Location Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands
Language Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)
GDP - real growth rate 1.4%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $44,900.00 (USD)

Belgium Demographics

What is the population of Belgium?

Ethnic Groups Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%
Languages Belgium has two official languages: Flemish, which is a form of Dutch, and French. Flemish is spoken in the northern region known as Flanders. French is spoken in the southern region known as Wallonia. As a result of having two languages, many cities have two or three names, and some Belgians cannot speak with other Belgians. The language is also reflected in the media, which offers both French and Flemish versions of TV, news, and radio. Many Belgians speak more than one language and are therefore sought after as employees for international companies.
Nationality Noun Belgian(s)
Population 11,720,716
Population Growth Rate 0.05%
Population in Major Urban Areas BRUSSELS (capital) 1.949 million; Antwerp 959,000
Urban Population 97.500000

Belgium Government

What type of government does Belgium have?

Executive Branch chief of state: King PHILIPPE (since 21 July 2013); Heir Apparent Princess ELISABETH (daughter of the monarch, born 25 October 2001)

head of government: Prime Minister Alexander DE CROO (since 1 October 2020); Deputy Prime Ministers Vincent Van QUICKENBORNE, Vincent VAN PETEGHEM, Frank VANDENBROUCKE, Pierre-Yves DERMAGNE, Petra DE SUTTER, Georges GILKINET (all since 1 October 2020), David CLARINVAL (since 15 July 2022)

cabinet: Council of Ministers formally appointed by the monarch

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary and constitutional; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch and approved by Parliament
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Belgium

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
National Holiday Belgian National Day (ascension to the throne of King LEOPOLD I), 21 July (1831)
Constitution history: drafted 25 November 1830, approved 7 February 1831, entered into force 26 July 1831, revised 14 July 1993 (creating a federal state)

amendments: "revisions" proposed as declarations by the federal government in accord with the king or by Parliament followed by dissolution of Parliament and new elections; adoption requires two-thirds majority vote of a two-thirds quorum in both houses of the next elected Parliament; amended many times, last in 2019
Independence 4 October 1830 (a provisional government declared independence from the Netherlands); 21 July 1831 (King LEOPOLD I ascended to the throne)

Belgium Video

YouTube: Rick Steves Brussels, Belgium: Cultural Capital

CountryReports YouTube Channel:

Join CountryReports YouTube Channel (Click Here)

Belgium Geography

What environmental issues does Belgium have?

Overview Belgium is an area of 11,799 square miles. The thirty-nine miles of Belgian coast are washed by the North Sea; 896 miles of the land frontier border the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and France. The Meuse River and its tributary, the Sambre, divide the country into two distinct geographic regions: a level, fertile area to the north and west, and the hilly, wooded region, the Ardennes, to the south and east. The capital, Brussels, is in the center of the Kingdom. With Ghent and Antwerp, it forms a triangle enclosing the most heavily built-up and densely populated area of Belgium. Approximately 50% (4 million acres) of Belgium is still farmland; forest covers less than one-fifth of the land.
Climate Belgium's climate is characterized by moderate temperatures, prevailing westerly winds, cloudy skies, regular rainfall, and a little snow. The weather is variable. Summer temperatures average 60°F (16°C). Rare annual extremes are l0°F (-12°C) and 90°F (33°C).
Border Countries France 620 km, Germany 167 km, Luxembourg 148 km, Netherlands 450 km
Environment - Current Issues The environment is exposed to intense pressures from human activities: urbanization, dense transportation network, industry, extensive animal breeding, and crop cultivation; air and water pollution also have repercussions for neighboring countries; uncertainties regarding federal and regional responsibilities (now resolved) have slowed progress in tackling environmental challenges
Environment - International Agreements Party To: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Terrain Flat coastal plains in the northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast

Belgium Economy

How big is the Belgium economy?

Economic Overview Belgium’s central geographic location and highly developed transport network have helped develop a well-diversified economy, with a broad mix of transport, services, manufacturing, and high tech. Service and high-tech industries are concentrated in the northern Flanders region while the southern region of Wallonia is home to industries like coal and steel manufacturing. Belgium is completely reliant on foreign sources of fossil fuels, and the planned closure of its seven nuclear plants by 2025 should increase its dependence on foreign energy. Its role as a regional logistical hub makes its economy vulnerable to shifts in foreign demand, particularly with EU trading partners. Roughly three-quarters of Belgium's trade is with other EU countries, and the port of Zeebrugge conducts almost half its trade with the United Kingdom alone, leaving Belgium’s economy vulnerable to the outcome of negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU.

Belgium’s GDP grew by 1.7% in 2017 and the budget deficit was 1.5% of GDP. Unemployment stood at 7.3%, however, the unemployment rate is lower in Flanders than Wallonia, 4.4% compared to 9.4%, because of industrial differences between the regions. The economy largely recovered from the March 2016 terrorist attacks that mainly impacted the Brussels region tourist and hospitality industry. Prime Minister Charles MICHEL's center-right government has pledged to further reduce the deficit in response to EU pressure to decrease Belgium's high public debt of about 104% of GDP, but such efforts would also dampen economic growth. In addition to restrained public spending, low wage growth and higher inflation promise to curtail a more robust recovery in private consumption.

The government has pledged to pursue a reform program to improve Belgium’s competitiveness, including changes to labor market rules and welfare benefits. These changes have generally made Belgian wages more competitive regionally, but have raised tensions with trade unions, which have called for extended strikes. In 2017, Belgium approved a tax reform plan to ease corporate rates from 33% to 29% by 2018 and down to 25% by 2020. The tax plan also included benefits for innovation and SMEs, intended to spur competitiveness and private investment.
Industries Engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, base metals, textiles, glass, petroleum
Currency Name and Code Euro (EUR)
Export Partners Germany 16.9%, France 15.5%, Netherlands 11.4%, UK 8.8%, United States 6%, Italy 5%
Import Partners Netherlands 16.7%, Germany 12.7%, France 9.6%, United States 8.7%, UK 5.1%, Ireland 4.7%, China 4.3%

Belgium News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Belgium?
Source: Google News

Belgium Travel Information

What makes Belgium a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Belgium is a highly developed and stable democracy with a modern economy. Tourist facilities are widely available.


Although Belgium remains relatively free of violent crime, low-level street crime, such as muggings, purse snatchings, and pickpocketing is common, particularly in major cities. Thieves loiter in transportation hubs like the metro (subway) and train stations, notably the Gare du Midi, the primary international train hub in Brussels. They take advantage of disoriented or distracted travelers and watch for people who put their luggage down and are inattentive for even a moment. Be particularly vigilant in these areas. Keep your eyes on your belongings. On trains, don’t place valuables on overhead racks.

Thieves often operate in teams. Once they identify a target, they cause a distraction. One way to do this is to create a random commotion such as by dropping money, cell phones, or other objects on the ground. Another way is by bumping into or shoving the target, especially in crowds. Still another common method is for an accomplice to get the target’s attention by speaking to that person or asking to sign a petition while the partner carries out the theft. Be alert to distractions.

Thieves also operate in restaurants, bars, and hotels. Take appropriate caution in these locations. Don’t sit next to doors where thieves can reach in and grab a bag that is placed on a chair or on the floor next to it. Exercise good security and safety practices when selecting and checking into hotels. Ensure that rooms have door and window locks. When possible, select a room above the ground and first floors.

Another problem is theft from vehicles. Do not leave anything visible that might attract a thief, even while you are driving. Items left on the passenger front seat of a car are particularly vulnerable. Always drive with your windows up and the doors locked. Thieves will sometimes position themselves at traffic lights to scan for valuables in stopped cars. If they see a purse or other valuables, they break in and steal the item before you have time to react. If doors are locked, thieves may smash the window to steal. Use parking garages when possible, as they are generally more secure than street parking. When a parking garage is not available, look for a spot near a street light.

There have been instances of small groups of young men who prey on unwary tourists, usually at night in the Brussels metro (subway). These thieves typically seek small, high-value items such as smartphones and MP3 players. You should carry only a minimum amount of cash, credit cards, and necessary personal identification (see Special Circumstances, below, for acceptable forms of identification). We advise against wearing expensive jewelry and watches.

Scammers have victimized U.S. citizens around the world, including in Belgium. A common scam involves an Internet friend or partner who is reported to have been detained by immigration authorities in Belgium en route to the United States and will not be released unless additional funds are paid to the “traveler” for Belgian customs fees. In every case, these reports have been determined to be confidence schemes. Several U.S. citizens have lost tens of thousands of dollars in such scams. Funds transferred in response to such offers can rarely be recovered. Information on fraud schemes can be found in the Department of State's International Financial Scams brochure. Although the scammers are pretending to be distressed U.S.-citizen travelers stranded in Belgium, it is important to realize that the scammers are, in fact, most likely not in Belgium. The point of the scam is to make the target believe that the message is coming from Belgium when it is really coming from another country. U.S.citizens in the United States who have been victimized by Internet crime should report it to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center. U.S. citizens present in Belgium who have been victimized should contact the Regional Security Office at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels (Telephone 011-32-2-811-4057). Depending on the circumstances, the Regional Security Office can then direct you to the appropriate Belgian, United States, or international law enforcement agency.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Belgium, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own, and criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. For instance, you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children, or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Belgium, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.

Persons violating Belgian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking illegal drugs in Belgium are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Belgium, you have the right to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the U.S. Embassy of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the Embassy.

Arrest notifications in Belgium: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.


Belgium has two official languages: Flemish, which is a form of Dutch, and French. Flemish is spoken in the northern region known as Flanders. French is spoken in the southern region known as Wallonia. As a result of having two languages, many cities have two or three names, and some Belgians cannot speak with other Belgians. The language is also reflected in the media, which offers both French and Flemish versions of TV, news, and radio. Many Belgians speak more than one language and are therefore sought after as employees for international companies.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

High-quality medical facilities are widely available in Belgium. The large university hospitals can handle almost every medical problem. Hospitals may not necessarily have staff members who are fluent in English. The Embassy's Consular Section maintains a list of English-speaking doctors. Equivalents for most, but not all, U.S. medications are available through local pharmacies with a prescription from a Belgian physician. Travelers to Belgium are encouraged to bring a sufficient supply of prescription medications for the duration of their stay.

Safety and Security

Belgium has been largely free of major terrorist incidents. As with other countries in the Schengen area, Belgium maintains open borders with its neighbors, allowing the possibility of terrorist operatives entering/exiting the country with anonymity. Belgian law enforcement and security officials, in close cooperation with neighboring countries, maintain an effective anti-terrorism effort and a welcoming environment for tourism and business.

Prior police approval is required for all public demonstrations in Belgium, and police are present to ensure adequate security for participants and passers-by. Nonetheless, spontaneous demonstrations do take place in Belgium from time to time in response to world events or local developments. Even demonstrations that are meant to be peaceful can become violent and unpredictable. You should avoid them if at all possible. Be alert and aware of your surroundings, and pay attention to what the local news media have to say.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Belgium, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.

Belgium’s road network is generally well built and maintained, but you may occasionally encounter potholes, even on principal roads. Sufficient lighting exists on major highways, but on rural roads, it is often insufficient or nonexistent. Belgian rules for right-of-way differ from those in the United States, and new drivers should thoroughly understand these rules before driving in Belgium. For instance, traffic coming from the right generally has priority at uncontrolled intersections, even if coming from a smaller street. The maximum speed limit on Belgian highways is 120 kilometers (72 miles) per hour but is not always posted. The maximum speed in urban areas is normally 50 km (30 miles) per hour, but in central Brussels, it is 30 km (19 miles) per hour. While Belgian authorities strictly enforce speed limits, many Belgians still drive significantly faster than the posted limit. Claiming ignorance of the speed limit may not prevent you from getting a significant fine for speeding, and your vehicle may be impounded if you can’t pay the fine on the spot. Belgian police also conduct breath analysis checks for alcohol use, particularly at night and during major holidays. The legal limit for operating a motor vehicle is .05 percent blood alcohol content.

Roadside assistance and information on road conditions are available in English from Touring Mobilis, telephone 02 286-3040. Belgian police will also provide information on road conditions, telephone 02-642-6666. Emergency services are efficient and responsive. For police emergencies, dial 101 by phone within Belgium. For all other emergencies, dial 112.

All Countries
Afghanistan Akrotiri Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burma Burundi Cabo Verde Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Clipperton Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Cook Islands Coral Sea Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curacao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Dhekelia Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Eswatini Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia Gabon Gambia, The Gaza Strip Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Holy See Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Jan Mayen Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, North Korea, South Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island North Macedonia Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Islands Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Sudan, South Suriname Svalbard Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States (US) Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Vietnam Virgin Islands Wake Island Wallis and Futuna West Bank Western Sahara World Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe