Belgium 1991Belgium

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Belgium
Belgium 

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Belgium - Introduction 1991
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Background: Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830 and was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. In the half century following, it has prospered as a small, modern, technologically advanced European state and member of the European Union. Its unique political circumstance is the long-standing differences between the wealthier Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the poorer French-speaking Walloons of the south, differences that are becoming increasingly acute.


Belgium - Geography 1991
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Location

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Area

Land boundaries:
1,385 km total
France 620 km, Germany 167 km, Luxembourg 148 km, Netherlands 450 km


Coastline: 64 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: not specific
Exclusive fishing zone: equidistant line with neighbors (extends about 68 km from coast)
Territorial sea: 12 nm

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

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

Elevation

Natural resources: coal, natural gas
Land use

Land use: arable land: 24%; permanent crops: 1%; meadows and pastures 20%; forest and woodland 21%; other 34%, includes irrigated NEGL%

Irrigated land

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards

Geography
Note: majority of West European capitals within 1,000 km of Brussels; crossroads of Western Europe; Brussels is the seat of the EC


Belgium - People 1991
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Population: 9,921,910 (July 1991), growth rate 0.1% (1991)

Nationality: noun--Belgian(s; adjective--Belgian

Ethnic groups: Fleming 55%, Walloon 33%, mixed or other 12%

Languages: Flemish (Dutch) 56%, French 32%, German 1%; legally bilingual 11%; divided along ethnic lines

Religions: Roman Catholic 75%, remainder Protestant or other

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate

Birth rate: 12 births/1000 population (1991)

Death rate: 11 deaths/1000 population (1991)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1000 population (1991)

Population distribution

Urbanization

Major urban areas

Environment
Current issues: air and water pollution

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 6 deaths/1000 live births (1991)

Life expectancy at birth: 74 years male, 81 years female (1991)

Total fertility rate: 1.6 children born/woman (1991)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Hiv/Aids

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy: 99% (male NA%, female NA%) age 15 and over can read and write (1980 est.)

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment


Belgium - Government 1991
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Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of Belgium

Government type: constitutional monarchy

Capital: Brussels

Administrative divisions: 9 provinces (French--provinces, singular--province; Flemish--provincien, singular--provincie; Antwerpen, Brabant, Hainaut, Liege, Limburg, Luxembourg, Namur, Oost-Vlaanderen, West-Vlaanderen

Dependent areas

Independence: 4 October 1830 (from the Netherlands)

National holiday: National Day, 21 July (ascension of King Leopold to the throne in 1831)

Constitution: 7 February 1831, last revised 8-9 August 1980; the government is in the process of revising the Constitution, with the aim of federalizing the Belgian state

Legal system: civil law system influenced by English constitutional theory; judicial review of legislative acts; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

International law organization participation

Citizenship

Suffrage: universal and compulsory at age 18

Executive branch: Chief of State--King BAUDOUIN I (since 17 July 1951; Heir Apparent Prince ALBERT of Liege (brother of the King; born 6 June 1934; Head of Government--Prime Minister Wilfried MARTENS, (since April 1979, with a 10-month interruption in 1981)

Legislative branch: Army, Navy, Air Force, National Gendarmerie

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice (Flemish--Hof van Cassatie, French--Cour de Cassation)

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: ACCT, AfDB, AG (observer), AsDB, Benelux, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, COCOM, CSCE, EBRD, EC, ECE, EIB, ESA, FAO, G-9, G-10, GATT, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INMARSAT, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LORCS, NATO, NEA, OAS (observer), OECD, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UPU, WCL, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic representation
In the us: Ambassador Juan CASSIERS; Chancery at 3,330 Garfield Street NW, Washington DC 20,008; telephone (202) 333-6,900; there are Belgian Consulates General in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York; US--Ambassador Maynard W. GLITMAN; Embassy at 27 Boulevard du Regent, B-1000 Brussels (mailing address is APO New York 9,667-1000; telephone [32] (2) 513-3,830; there is a US Consulate General in Antwerp

Flag descriptionflag of Belgium: three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red; the design was based on the flag of France Belgium BelgiumBelgium

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage


Belgium - Economy 1991
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Economy overview: This small 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, although the government is encouraging reinvestment in the southern region of Walloon. With few natural resources Belgium must import essential raw materials, making its economy closely dependent on the state of world markets. Over 70% of trade is with other EC countries. During the period 1988-90 Belgium's economic performance was marked by buoyant output growth, moderate inflation, and a substantial external surplus. Real GDP grew by an average of 3.9% in 1988-90. However, the economy is likely to slow in 1991-92 to below 3% GDP growth.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products: accounts for 2% of GDP; emphasis on livestock production--beef, veal, pork, milk; major crops are sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, and tobacco; net importer of farm products

Industries: engineering and metal products, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum, coal

Industrial production growth rate: 1.3% (1991 est.), accounts for almost 30% of GDP

Labor force: 4,200,000; services 69%, industry 28%, agriculture 3% (1988)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 8.2% est. (1991 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget: revenues $45.0 billion; expenditures $55.3 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (1989)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues

Revenue

Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance

Exports: $106 billion (f.o.b., 1990 est.) Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union
Commodities: iron and steel, transportation equipment, tractors, diamonds, petroleum products
Partners: EC 74%, US 5%, Communist countries 2% (1989)

Imports: $108 billion (c.i.f., 1989) Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union
Commodities: fuels, grains, chemicals, foodstuffs
Partners: EC 73%, US 4%, oil-exporting less developed countries 4%, Communist countries 3% (1989)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $28.8 billion (1990 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Belgian francs (BF) per US$1--31.102 (January 1991), 33.418 (1990), 39.404 (1989), 36.768 (1988), 37.334 (1987), 44.672 (1986), 59.378 (1985)


Belgium - Energy 1991
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Electricity access

Electricity production

Electricity consumption

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources

Petroleum

Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita


Belgium - Communication 1991
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions


Belgium - Military 1991
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Military expenditures
Percent of gdp: $4.8 billion, 2.5% of GDP (1990)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups


Belgium - Transportation 1991
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 42 total, 42 usable; 24 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 14 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 3 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways

Heliports

Pipelines: refined products 1,167 km; crude 161 km; natural gas 3,300 km

Railways

Roadways

Waterways: 2,043 km (1,528 km in regular commercial use)

Merchant marine: 69 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 1,785,066 GRT/2,927,618 DWT; includes 12 cargo, 6 roll-on/roll-off, 6 container, 7 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 9 liquefied gas, 3 combination ore/oil, 9 chemical tanker, 11 bulk, 6 combination bulk

Ports and terminals


Belgium - Transnational issues 1991
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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