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   Belgium Country Guide


Flag of 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.



Map of Belgium Full Name: Kingdom of Belgium
Area: 30,528 sq km sq km (land: 30,278 sq km, water: 250 sq km)
Population: 10,438,353 (July 2012 est.)
Capital City: Brussels

People: Fleming 58%, Walloon 31%, mixed or other 11%
Language: Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)
Religion: Roman Catholic 75%, Protestant or other 25%

Government Type: Federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch
Chief of State: King ALBERT II (since 9 August 1993); Heir Apparent Prince PHILIPPE, son of the monarch
Head of Government: Prime Minister Elio DI RUPO (since 6 December 2011)

GDP: $US 418.6 billion (2011 est.)
GDP per Capita: $US 38,200 (2011 est.)
Inflation: 3.5% (2011 est.)
Unemployment: 7.2% (2011 est.)
Industries: Engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum
Currency: Euro (€ - EUR)

Member of EU: Yes



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Info provided by the CIA World Factbook
Updated 11/2012
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