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GPS N50.604159°,E4.438477°
Belgium is one of the Benelux states. The official name of the country is Royaume de Belgique / Koninkrijk Belgie (The Kingdom of Belgium). It is located in the Western part of Europe, bordering France, Germany, Luxemburg, the Netherlands and the North Sea. It covers the area of a bit more than 30 500 square kilometers. As far as terrain is concerned, there are flat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills and rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast. The difference between the lowest and highest point is not very big, just 694 metres (the lowest point is North Sea – 0 metres and the highest point is Signal de Botrange – 694 metres above sea level). The climate of the country is temperate.

Belgium has about 10 350 000 inhabitants. The median age is 40.9 years. Density of population is 335 inhabitants per square kilometer. Most of the people are of Belgian nationality, although it means they are either Flemings (58%) or Walloons (31%) and the rest 11% is mixed. Due to the composition of inhabitants, there are two main official languages – Dutch (speaking by Flemings, 60%) and French (speaking by Walloons, 40%), less than 1% is speaking German. As far as religion is concerned 75% belong to Roman Catholicism, remaining 25% are mostly Protestants.

From the governmental point of view, Belgium is the federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch. The capital city is Brussels, with nearly a million inhabitants. Administratively is Belgium divided into 10 provinces and three regions (Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia). 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 four linguistic communities) with a complex division of responsibilities. Belgium is the crossroad of the Western Europe and Brussels is within 1000 kilometres far from majority of West European capitals. It is the seat of EU and NATO. Belgium got its independence on 4 October 1830 when a provisional government declares independence from the Netherlands. On 21 July 1831 King Leopold I ascended to the throne.

Belgium, the 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. 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. The country entered EU currency system and accepted Euro in 2002. From industrial branches mostly developed are engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum. As far as agriculture products are concerned, there are sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk.

The international abbreviation of Belgium is BEL, the label of motor vehicles is B, the internet domain is .be and the international phone code number is +32.

External References:
Wikipedia article on Belgium
Belgian Tourist Office official website
Federal Public Services Belgium - Federal Portal
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