Country Summary

2023 population pyramid



Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830. The country has since prospered as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. The capital city of Brussels is home to numerous international organizations including the EU and NATO.



total: 30,528 sq km
land: 30,278 sq km
water: 250 sq km


temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy

Natural resources

construction materials, silica sand, carbonates, arable land

People and Society


total: 11,977,634
male: 5,909,057
female: 6,068,577 (2024 est.)

Ethnic groups

Belgian 75.2%, Italian 4.1%, Moroccan 3.7%, French 2.4%, Turkish 2%, Dutch 2%, other 10.6% (2012 est.)


Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%


Roman Catholic 57.1%, Protestant 2.3%, other Christian, 2.8%, Muslim 6.8%, other 1.7%, atheist 9.1%, nonbeliever/agnostic 20.2% (2018 est.)

Population growth rate

0.53% (2024 est.)


Government type

federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy


name: Brussels

Executive branch

chief of state: King PHILIPPE (since 21 July 2013); Heir Apparent Princess ELISABETH (daughter of the monarch, born 25 October 2001)
head of government: Prime Minister Alexander DE CROO (since 1 October 2020); Deputy Prime Ministers Paul Van TIGCHELT (since 22 October 2023), Vincent VAN PETEGHEM, Frank VANDENBROUCKE, Pierre-Yves DERMAGNE, Petra DE SUTTER, Georges GILKINET (all since 1 October 2020), David CLARINVAL (since 15 July 2022)

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament consists of:
Senate or Senaat (in Dutch), Senat (in French) (60 seats; 50 members indirectly elected by the community and regional parliaments based on their election results, and 10 elected by the 50 other senators; members serve 5-year terms)
Chamber of Representatives or Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers (in Dutch), Chambre des Representants (in French) (150 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)


Economic overview

high income economy with strong but moderate growth; high public debt; aging labor force; low labor force participation of low-skilled, migrant, and older workers; strong welfare system; high congestion; complex business permitting and judicial systems

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$622.704 billion (2022 est.)
$604.509 billion (2021 est.)
$565.749 billion (2020 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$53,300 (2022 est.)
$52,200 (2021 est.)
$49,000 (2020 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar beets, milk, potatoes, wheat, pork, lettuce, maize, chicken, barley, pears (2022)


engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, base metals, textiles, glass, petroleum


$558.271 billion (2022 est.)
$527.746 billion (2021 est.)
$413.773 billion (2020 est.)

Exports - partners

Germany 19%, France 15%, Netherlands 14%, US 6%, Italy 5% (2022)

Exports - commodities

natural gas, vaccines, refined petroleum, packaged medicine, cars (2022)


$567.164 billion (2022 est.)
$516.8 billion (2021 est.)
$403.359 billion (2020 est.)

Imports - partners

Netherlands 19%, Germany 12%, France 9%, US 6%, China 6% (2022)

Imports - commodities

natural gas, refined petroleum, cars, packaged medicine, vaccines (2022)

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
0.95 (2022 est.)
0.845 (2021 est.)
0.876 (2020 est.)
0.893 (2019 est.)
0.847 (2018 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, May 22, 2024