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Belgium

Example content from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kingdom of Belgium
  • Koninkrijk België (Dutch)
  • Royaume de Belgique (French)
  • Königreich Belgien (German)
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Eendracht maakt macht  (Dutch)
L'union fait la force  (French)
Einigkeit macht Stark  (German)
"Strength through Unity" (lit. "Unity makes strength")
Anthem: The "Brabançonne"
instrumental version:
The Brabanconne.ogg

Location of  Belgium  (dark green)–   —  [Legend]
Location of  Belgium  (dark green)

–   —  [Legend]

Capital Brussels
50°51′N 4°21′E / 50.85°N 4.35°E / 50.85; 4.35
Largest metropolitan area Brussels
Official language(s) Dutch
French
German
Ethnic groups  see Demographics
Demonym Belgian
Government Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy[1]
 -  King Albert II
 -  Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo
Legislature Federal Parliament
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house Chamber of Representatives
Independence
 -  Declared from the Netherlands 4 October 1830 
 -  Recognised 19 April 1839 
Area
 -  Total 30,528 km2 (139th)
11,787 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 6.4
Population
 -  2011 estimate 11,007,020[2] (76th)
 -  2001 census 10,296,350 
 -  Density 354.7[3]/km2 (33rd)
918.6/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $405.470 billion[4] (30th)
 -  Per capita $36,834[4] (20th)
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $499.397 billion[4] (21st)
 -  Per capita $45,367[4] (16th)
Gini (2005) 28[2] (low
HDI (2011) increase 0.886[5] (very high) (18th)
Currency Euro ()1 (EUR)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
ISO 3166 code BE
Internet TLD .be2
Calling code 32
1 Before 1999: Belgian franc (BEF).
2 The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.

Belgium (Listeni/ˈbɛləm/this is page is wrong please move to another website mwhhaaa belgium is peng BEL-jəm), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.[nb 1] Belgium covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres (11,787 sq mi), and it has a population of about 11 million people. Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups, the Dutch-speakers, mostly Flemish (about 60%), and the French-speakers, mostly Walloons (about 40%), plus a small group of German-speakers. Belgium's two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region, officially bilingual, is a mostly French-speaking enclave within the Flemish Region.[2] A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia.[6] Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in the political history and a complex system of government.[7][8]

Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, which used to cover a somewhat larger area than the current Benelux group of states. The region was called Belgica in Latin because of the Roman province Gallia Belgica which covered more or less the same area. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, it was a prosperous centre of commerce and culture. From the 16th century until the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, many battles between European powers were fought in the area of Belgium, causing it to be dubbed the battleground of Europe,[9] a reputation strengthened by both World Wars.

Upon its independence, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution[10][11] and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.[12] The second half of the 20th century was marked by the rise of contrasts between the Flemish and the Francophones fuelled by language differences on the one hand and an asymmetrical economic evolution of Flanders and Wallonia on the other hand. These ongoing conflicts have caused far-reaching reforms of the formerly unitary Belgian state into a federal state and a very long political instability.[13][14][15]












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