50 Fascinating Facts about Belgium

Belgium meets high standards of living and has a progressive high-income economy. This developed country, according to the Global Peace Index, is rated as one of the most peaceful countries in the world, with a population of approximately 11.3 million. Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is also known as the unofficial capital of the EU. Brussels houses the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission. Belgium’s currency is the Euro as they are part of the European Union. Belgium has not one but three official languages; French, Dutch, and German. Over half the population considers themselves Roman Catholic although not all go to mass regularly. The Belgian flag is black yellow and red in consecutive vertical stripes.

Belgium Facts

Belgium has a population of approximately 11.3 million.
The government of Belgium is a Federal Parliamentary Democracy under a Constitutional Monarchy with both a king and a prime minister.
Belgium is officially known as the Kingdom of Belgium.
Brussels is both the largest city and the capital city.
Belgium is a multinational state with most Belgians being a part of one of two communities, the Flemings from the north who speak Dutch or the Walloons in the South who speak French.
The Flemish make up about 60% of the population.
Approximately 75% of Belgium’s French speakers reside in Wallonia. However, French-speaking inhabitants of Brussels usually do not consider themselves Walloons.
The people of Brussels are known in French as Bruxellois and in Dutch as Brusselaars.
Belgium is bordered by the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, and Germany.
The national languages are Dutch (60%), French (40%), and German (less than 1%).
The national flag is black, yellow, and red in three vertical stripes.
There are other flags for the Flemish community, the French community, the German-speaking community, and Brussels-Capital Region.
Belgium has a coat of arms with a yellow lion with red claws and tongue against a black background, called The Belgian Lion.
The largest religion in Belgium is Roman Catholicism. Over half the population identifies with this religion.
Ranking 25th in the world, Belgium’s nominal GDP is estimated at USD 512 billion, and it’s nominal per capita GDP USD 50,510 for 2018.
Over 97% of Belgians live in urban areas giving it one of the most highly densely populated countries in the world.
The country has wide-ranging social welfare programs, including systems and procedures to regenerate urban areas and eradicate slums.
The population growth rate each year is exceptionally low. When comparing death rates and emigration to birth rates and immigration, there is barely a difference.
It is among the highest in Western Europe when it comes to homeownership. Government-guaranteed mortgage loans encourage people to construct new homes.
In addition to being well known got their famous waffles, Belgium is also known for a very different kind of snack called moules frites which are mussels served with french fries.
Both Belgium and France claim to be the inventors of french fries.
One of Belgium’s chief exports is chocolate. Belgium chocolate is renowned around the world.
Belgium is famous around the world for beer, and they have won many awards for it.
For over 500 years, Jenever has been the national spirit drink of Belgium. This traditional liquor that gin evolved from has “Protected Product of Origin” status which means it can only be produced in Belgium.
Belgium-born Adolphe Sax invented the world-famous jazz instrument, the saxophone.
Famous actress Audrey Hepburn was born in Belgium on May 4, 1929, under the name Audrey Kathleen Ruston.
Antwerp, a Flemish city in Belgium, hosted the first ever World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 1903.
Belgium was the second country in the world to make same-sex marriage legal on June 1st, 2003.
The Belgian Draft Horse originated from Belgium. The world’s tallest living horse is a Belgian Draft Horse named Jake who stands at 20 hands 2.75 inches without horseshoes.
Football is Belgium’s most popular sport.
The highest point in Belgium is the Signal de Botrange which is 694 meters above sea level.
Christmas is a big holiday in Belgium and a time of year when families get together. They also have many Christmas markets during the Christmas season.
In the late 20th century, Belgians played a big role in the creation of techno music.
Belgian Pierre Culliford, who wrote under the pseudonym Peyo, created The Smurfs (Les Schtroumpfs in French) and they debuted in a comic he created called ‘Johan et Prilouit’ back in 1958.
To convey that the rulers of Belgium have a close connection to the people of Belgium, not just the place, Belgian Kings and Queens are known as ‘King/Queen of the Belgians’ instead of ‘King/Queen of Belgium.
Belgium has two living Kings as King Albert II retained his title as king even after abdicating the throne to his son, King Philippe.
One of the world’s biggest and most famous electronic dance music festivals, Tomorrowland, is held every year in Boom, Belgium. Tickets usually sell out within minutes!
The tallest building in Belgium, standing at 486 feet (148 meters), is the Zuidertoren (Dutch) or Tour du Midi (French).
The first openly gay man to lead a sovereign state was Belgian, Elio Di Rupo.
The Brussels Palace of Justice is larger than St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
This country earned the nickname “cockfighting arena of Europe” because many of the wars between assorted powers in Europe fought in Belgium.
Belgium’s country risk rating is an A2 meaning that the economic and political situation is good and stable there. Belgians benefit from a high standard of living.
Belgians, in general, are big on being punctual and can be irritated when others are late.
Snapping your fingers at someone is considered very rude in Belgium.
If you are asked to visit someone’s home, it is customary to bring flowers for the hostess and something small like candy for the children of the home.
Do not waste food in front of Belgians. Always make sure you eat all of the food on your plate, as waste is not appreciated.
Belgium has 71 mammal species of Eurasian descent.
Belgium’s mild, maritime climate is mainly affected by air masses from the Atlantic.
Most of the gross domestic product (GDP) is generated by the service sector.
Belgium is a free-enterprise economy, meaning that products, services, and prices are determined by the market, not the government.

With Flemings in the north, who speak Dutch, and Walloons in the south who speak French, Belgium has two main thriving cultures. Belgium is renowned for their chocolates and beer. With mild winters and cool summers that are cloudy, humid, and rainy, it is not a place for people desiring a lot of sunshine. The capital, Brussels, is a hub for businesses and European Union offices. Many meetings are held in Brussels to determine what will happen in the EU. A majority of Belgians live in urban areas. There is a high quality of life in Belgium in addition to excellent education, healthcare, and public facilities. It is a highly desired country for expats to move to.


Copyright 2018 © NationFacts