Statistical information Belgium 2001Belgium

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

Belgium in the World
Belgium in the World

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Belgium - Introduction 2001
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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 2001
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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
Total: 30,510 km²
Land: 30,230 km²
Water: 280 km²
Comparative: about the size of Maryland

Land boundaries
Total: 1,385 km
Border countries: (4) France 620 km; , Germany 167 km; , Luxembourg 148 km; , Netherlands 450 km

Coastline: 66 km

Maritime claims
Continental shelf: median line with neighbors
Exclusive fishing zone: median 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
Extremes lowest point: North Sea 0 m
Extremes highest point: Signal de Botrange 694 m

Natural resources: coal natural gas
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 24%
Permanent crops: 1%
Permanent pastures: 20%
Forests and woodland: 21%
Other: 34%

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 2001
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Population: 10,258,762 (July 2001 est.)
Growth rate: 0.16% (2001 est.)
Below poverty line: 4%

Nationality
Noun: Belgian
Adjective: Belgian

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

Languages: Dutch 58% French 32% German 10% legally bilingual (Dutch and French)

Religions: Roman Catholic 75% Protestant or other 25%

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure
0-14 years: 17.48% (male 916,957; female 876,029)
15-64 years: 65.57% (male 3,390,145; female 3,336,908)
65 years and over: 16.95% (male 709,212; female 1,029,511) (2001 est.)

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate: 0.16% (2001 est.)

Birth rate: 10.74 births/1000 population (2001 est.)

Death rate: 10.1 deaths/1000 population (2001 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.97 migrant(s)/1000 population (2001 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
International agreements party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
International agreements signed but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Air pollutants

Sex ratio
At birth: 1.05 male/female
Under 15 years: 1.05 male/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male/female
Total population: 0.96 male/female (2001 est.)

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate: 4.7 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
Total population: 77.96 years
Male: 74.63 years
Female: 81.46 years (2001 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.61 children born/woman (2001 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access

Hiv/Aids
Adult prevalence rate: 0.15% (1999 est.)
People living with hivaids: 7,700 (1999 est.)
Deaths: less than 100 (1999 est.)

Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures

Literacy
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 98%
Male: NA%
Female: NA%

School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment


Belgium - Government 2001
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Country name
Conventional long form: Kingdom of Belgium
Conventional short form: Belgium
Local long form: Royaume de Belgique/Koninkrijk Belgie
Local short form: Belgique/Belgie

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; note - the Brussels Capitol Region is not included within the 10 provinces

Dependent areas

Independence: 21 July 1831 (from the Netherlands)

National holiday: Independence Day 21 July (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
Chief of state: King ALBERT II (since 9 August 1993); Heir Apparent Prince PHILIPPE, son of the monarch
Head of government: Prime Minister Guy VERHOFSTADT (since 13 July 1999)
Cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch and approved by Parliament
Elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; prime minister appointed by the monarch and then approved by Parliament
Note: government coalition - VLD, PRL, PS, SP, AGALEV, and ECOLO

Legislative branch
Elections: Senate and Chamber of Deputies - last held 13 June 1999 (next to be held in NA 2003)
Election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - VLD 15.4%, CVP 14.7%, PRL 10.6%, PS 9.7%, VB 9.4%, SP 8.9%, ECOLO 7.4%, AGALEV 7.1%, PSC 6.0%, VU 5.1%; seats by party - VLD 11, CVP 10, PS 10, PRL 9, VB 6, SP 6, ECOLO 6, AGALEV 5, PSC 5, VU 3; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - VLD 14.3%, CVP 14.1%, PS 10.2%, PRL 10.1%, VB 9.9%, SP 9.5%, ECOLO 7.4%, AGALEV 7.0%, PSC 5.9%, VU 5.6%; seats by party - VLD 23, CVP 22, PS 19, PRL 18, VB 15, SP 14, ECOLO 11, PSC 10, AGALEV 9, VU 8, FN 1
Note: as a result of the 1993 constitutional revision that furthered devolution into a federal state, there are now three levels of government (federal, regional, and linguistic community) with a complex division of responsibilities; this reality leaves six governments each with its own legislative assembly; for other acronyms of the listed parties see Political parties and leaders

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

Political parties and leaders: AGALEV (Flemish Greens) [Dos GEYSELS]; 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 Liberal Reformation Party or PRL [Daniel DUCARME president]; Francophone Socialist Party or PS [Elio DI RUPO president]; National Front or FN [Daniel FERET]; Vlaams Blok or VB [Frank VANHECKE]; Volksunie or VU [leader vacant]; 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 MINURSO MONUC 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
In the us chief of mission: Ambassador Alexis REYN
In the us chancery: 3,330 Garfield Street NW, Washington, DC 20,008
In the us telephone: [1] (202) 333-6,900
In the us fax: [1] (202) 333-3,079
In the us consulates general: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York
From the us chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant)
From the us embassy: 27 Boulevard du Regent, B-1000 Brussels
From the us mailing address: PSC 82, Box 002, APO AE 9,710
From the us telephone: [32] (2) 508-2,111
From the us fax: [32] (2) 511-2,725

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 2001
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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 is expected to fall below 100% of GDP in 2002 and the government has succeeded in balancing is budget. Belgium became a charter member of the European Monetary Union (EMU) in January 1999. Economic growth in 2000 was broad based putting the government in a good position to pursue its energy market liberalization policies and planned tax cuts.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate: 4.1% (2000 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: 1.4%
Industry: 26%
Services: 72.6% (2000 est.)

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: 5.5% (2000 est.)

Labor force: 4.34 million (1999)
By occupation services: 73%
By occupation industry: 25%
By occupation agriculture: 2% (1999 est.)
Labor force

Unemployment rate: 8.4% (2000 est.)

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line: 4%

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10: 3.7%
Highest 10: 20.2% (1992)

Distribution of family income gini index

Budget
Revenues: $114.8 billion
Expenditures: $117 billion, including capital expenditures of $7.6 billion (1999)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues

Revenue

Fiscal year: calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices: 2.2% (2000 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: $181.4 billion (f.o.b. 2000)
Commodities: machinery and equipment chemicals diamonds metals and metal products
Partners: EU 76% (Germany 18% France 18% Netherlands 12% UK 10%) (1999)

Imports: $166 billion (c.i.f. 2000)
Commodities: machinery and equipment chemicals metals and metal products
Partners: EU 71% (Germany 18% Netherlands 17% France 14% UK 9%) (1999)

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 dollar - 1.0659 (January 2001) 1.0854 (2000) 0.9386 (1999); Belgian francs per US dollar - 34.77 (January 1999) 36.229 (1998) 35.774 (1997) 30.962 (1996)


Belgium - Energy 2001
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Electricity access

Electricity production: 79.829 billion kWh (1999)
By source fossil fuel: 40.01%
By source hydro: 0.42%
By source nuclear: 58.33%
By source other: 1.24% (1999)

Electricity consumption: 75.089 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity exports: 8.207 billion kWh (1999)

Electricity imports: 9.055 billion kWh (1999)

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 2001
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular: 974,494 (1997)

Telephone system
General assessment: highly developed, technologically advanced, and completely automated domestic and international telephone and telegraph facilities
Domestic: nationwide cellular telephone system; extensive cable network; limited microwave radio relay network
International: 5 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) and 1 Eutelsat

Broadcast media

Internet country code: .be

Internet users: 2.7 million (2000)

Broadband fixed subscriptions


Belgium - Military 2001
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Military expenditures
Dollar figure: $2.5 billion (FY01)
Percent of gdp: 1.2% (FY99)

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups


Belgium - Transportation 2001
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

Airports: 42 (2000 est.)
With paved runways total: 24
With paved runways over 3047 m: 6
With paved runways 2438 to 3047 m: 8
With paved runways 15-24 to 2437 m: 3
With paved runways 914 to 1523 m: 1
With paved runways under 914 m: 6 (2000 est.)
With unpaved runways total: 18
With unpaved runways 914 to 1523 m: 2
With unpaved runways under 914 m: 16 (2000 est.)

Airports with paved runways
Total: 24
Over 3047 m: 6
2438 to 3047 m: 8
15-24 to 2437 m: 3
914 to 1523 m: 1
Under 914 m: 6 (2000 est.)

Airports with unpaved runways
Total: 18
914 to 1523 m: 2
Under 914 m: 16 (2000 est.)

Heliports: 1 (2000 est.)

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

Railways
Total: 3,437 km (2,446 km electrified; 2,563 km double track)
Standard gauge: 3,437 km 1.435-m gauge (1998)

Roadways

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

Merchant marine
Total: 21 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 32,912 GRT/53,161 DWT
Ships by type: cargo 6, chemical tanker 9, petroleum tanker 6 (2000 est.)

Ports and terminals


Belgium - Transnational issues 2001
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Disputes international: none

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs


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