Statistical information Belgium 2000Belgium

Map of Belgium | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
Military | Transportation | Transnational Issues | Year:  | More stats

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Belgium in the World

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Belgium - Introduction 2000
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Background: 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.


Belgium - Geography 2000
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Location: Western Europe bordering the North Sea between France and the Netherlands

Geographic coordinates: 50 50 N 4 00 E

Map referenceEurope

Area
Comparative: about the size of Maryland

Land boundaries

Coastline: 66 km

Maritime claims

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

Irrigated land: NA km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards: flooding is a threat in areas of reclaimed coastal land protected from the sea by concrete dikes

Geography
Note: crossroads of Western Europe; majority of West European capitals within 1000 km of Brussels which is the seat of both the EU and NATO


Belgium - People 2000
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Population: 10,241,506 (July 2000 est.)
Growth rate: 0.18% (2000 est.)
Below poverty line: 4%

Nationality

Ethnic groups: Fleming 58% Walloon 31% mixed or other 11%

Languages: Dutch 58% French 32% German 10% legally bilingual

Religions: Roman Catholic 75% Protestant or other 25%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 0.18% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 10.91 births/1000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 10.13 deaths/1000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.98 migrant(s)/1000 population (2000 est.)

Population distribution

Urbanization

Major urban areas

Environment
Current issues: the environment is exposed to intense pressures from human activities: urbanization dense transportation network industry intense animal breeding and crop cultivation; air and water pollution also have repercussions for neighboring countries; uncertainties regarding federal and regional responsibilities (now resolved) have impeded progress in tackling environmental challenges

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 4.76 deaths/1000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

Total fertility rate: 1.61 children born/woman (2000 est.)

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

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment


Belgium - Government 2000
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Country name

Government type: federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch

Capital: Brussels

Administrative divisions: 10 provinces (French: provinces singular - province; Flemish: provincien singular - provincie); Antwerpen Brabant Wallon Hainaut Liege Limburg Luxembourg Namur Oost-Vlaanderen Vlaams Brabant West-Vlaanderen

Dependent areas

Independence: 4 October 1830 (from the Netherlands)

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

Constitution: 7 February 1831 last revised 14 July 1993; parliament approved a constitutional package creating a federal 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: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate or Senaat in Dutch Senat in French (71 seats; 40 members are directly elected by popular vote 31 are indirectly elected; members serve four-year terms) and a Chamber of Deputies or Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers in Dutch Chambre des Representants in French (150 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve four-year terms)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Justice or Hof van Cassatie in Dutch Cour de Cassation in French judges are appointed for life by the Belgian monarch

Political parties and leaders: AGALEV (Flemish Greens) [Wilfried BERVOETS]; ECOLO (Francophone Greens) [no president]; Flemish Christian Democrats or CVP (Christian People's Party) [Stefaan DE CLERCK president]; Flemish Liberal Democrats or VLD [Karel DE GUCHT president]; Flemish Socialist Party or SP [Patrick JANSSENS president]; Francophone Christian Democrats or PSC (Social Christian Party) [Joelle MILQUET president]; Francophone Democratic Front or FDF [Olivier MAINGAIN president]; Francophone Liberal Reformation Party or PRL [Daniel DUCARME president]; Francophone Socialist Party or PS [Elio DI RUPO president]; National Front or FN [Dr. FERET]; Vlaams Blok or VB [Frank VANHECKE]; Volksunie or VU [Geert BOURGEOIS president]; other minor parties

International organization participation: ACCT AfDB AsDB Australia Group Benelux BIS CCC CE CERN EAPC EBRD ECE EIB EMU ESA EU FAO G- 9 G-10 IADB IAEA IBRD ICAO ICC ICFTU ICRM IDA IEA IFAD IFC IFRCS IHO ILO IMF IMO Inmarsat Intelsat Interpol IOC IOM ISO ITU NATO NEA NSG OAS (observer) OECD OPCW OSCE PCA UN UNCTAD UNESCO UNHCR UNIDO UNMIK UNMOGIP UNMOP UNRWA UNTSO UPU WADB (nonregional) WCL WEU WHO WIPO WMO WTrO ZC

Diplomatic representation

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

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage


Belgium - Economy 2000
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Economy overview: 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 although the government is encouraging investment in the southern region of Wallonia. 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. About three-quarters of its trade is with other EU countries. Belgium's public debt fell from 127% of GDP in 1996 to 122% of GDP in 1998 and the government is trying to control its expenditures to bring the figure more into line with other industrialized countries. Belgium became a charter member of the European Monetary Union (EMU) in January 1999. The dioxin crisis - beginning in June 1999 with the discovery of a cancer-causing substance in animal feed - constituted a serious blow to the food-processing industry both domestically and internationally. This crisis slowed down GDP growth with recovery expected in the year 2000.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 1.8% (1999 est.)

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: sugar beets fresh vegetables fruits grain tobacco; beef veal pork milk

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

Industrial production growth rate: -1% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 4.341 million (1999)
By occupation services: 73%
By occupation industry: 25%
By occupation agriculture: 2% (1999 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 9% (1999 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 4%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues

Revenue

Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 1% (1999 est.)

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: $187.3 billion (f.o.b. 1999)
Commodities: machinery and equipment chemicals diamonds metals and metal products
Partners: EU 76% (Germany 19% France 18% Netherlands 12% UK 10%) (1998)

Imports: $172.8 billion (f.o.b. 1999)
Commodities: machinery and equipment chemicals metals and metal products
Partners: EU 71% (Germany 18% Netherlands 17% France 14% UK 9%) (1998)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external: $28.3 billion (1999 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: euros per US$1 - 0.9867 (January 2000) 0.9386 (1999); Belgian francs (BF) per US$1 - 34.77 (January 1999) 36.229 (1998) 35.774 (1997) 30.962 (1996) 29.480 (1995)


Belgium - Energy 2000
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 78.702 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity consumption: 74.543 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity exports: 6.4 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity imports: 7.75 billion kWh (1998)

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 2000
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 664,000 (1999)

Telephone system: highly developed technologically advanced and completely automated domestic and international telephone and telegraph facilities

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions


Belgium - Military 2000
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $2.8 billion (FY99)
Percent of gdp: 1.2% (FY99)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups


Belgium - Transportation 2000
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 42 (1999 est.)

Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways

Heliports: 1 (1999 est.)

Pipelines: crude oil 161 km; petroleum products 1167 km; natural gas 3,300 km

Railways

Roadways

Waterways: 2,043 km (1528 km in regular commercial use)

Merchant marine

Ports and terminals


Belgium - Transnational issues 2000
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs: source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for cocaine heroin hashish and marijuana entering Western Europe


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