World Country Belgium

About the world country Belgium, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: In western Europe, on the coast of the English Channel (North Sea) between France and the Netherlands. Size: 11,781 sq. mi. (30,513 sq. km.). Population: 9,875,000 (55% Flemish, 33% Walloon, 12% mixed or other).

Who Really Rules: Belgium is run by a Brussels-based bureaucracy, tenuously linking two ethnically distinct provinces. In Flanders, the northern province, the Flemish people (Flemings) speak Dutch. In Walloonia, in the south, the Walloons speak French. Brussels, the national capital as well as the headquarters for both NATO (the North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the European Economic Community (Common Market), is located within Flanders, but most of its residents speak French. Ethnic distrust divides the nation's major political parties, as well as the general population. In 1980 the Belgian parliament approved a plan to turn over 10% of the national budget to two regional governments, one in Flanders, one in Walloonia.

Flemish incomes are generally higher than those in Walloonia, and Flemish business interests tend to dominate the economy. Although integrated into the European Community, the Belgian economy is subordinate to its neighbors, particularly West Germany.

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