Belgium



Official Country Name
Belgium

Belgium Overview
Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country 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.

Belgium Economy
This modern, private-enterprise economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated mainly in the populous Flemish area in the north. With few natural resources, Belgium must import substantial quantities of raw materials and export a large volume of manufactures, making its economy unusually dependent on the state of world markets. Roughly three-quarters of its trade is with other EU countries. Public debt is more than 90% of GDP. On the positive side, the government has succeeded in balancing its budget, and income distribution is relatively equal. Belgium began circulating the euro currency in January 2002. Economic growth in 2001-03 dropped sharply because of the global economic slowdown, with moderate recovery in 2004-06.

Belgium Location
Belgium is located in Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands

Region
Belgium is located in Europe

Belgium Population
Belgium has population of 10,379,067 (July 2006 est.)

Belgium Climate
Belgium has temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy

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

Belgium Natural Resources
construction materials, silica sand, carbonates

Ethnic Groups in Belgium
Belgium has the following ethnic groups - Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%

Belgium Religions
Roman Catholic 75%, Protestant or other 25%

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

Belgium Capital
Belgium capital is Brussels

Belgium Currency
Belgium currency is Euro

Map of Belgium