Background last update:6 Aug 2012


Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830. Its private-enterprise economy has capitalised on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base.

With few natural resources, Belgium's economy is unusually dependent on the state of world markets. Roughly three-quarters of its trade is with other EU countries.

Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands.

Capital city
: Brussels
Population: 10,392,227 (July 2007 est.)

Gross domestic production (GDP) growth: 2.7% (2007 est.)
GDP per capita: $36,500 (2007 est.)  

GDP composition by: Agriculture: 1%
  Industry: 24.4%
  Services: 74.6% (2007 est.)

Surface area

Land use

Total: 30,528 sq km

Arable land: 27.42%

Land: 30,278 sq km

Permanent crops: 0.69%

Water: 250 sq km

Other: 71.89%


: includes Luxembourg (2005)
Information source: CIA World Factbook

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