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BELGIUM

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ABOUT BELGIUM 

The Kingdom of Belgium is a country in northwest Europe is one of the founding and core members of the European Union. Belgium has a population of over ten million people, in an area of around 30,000 square kilometres (11,700 square miles).
Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Romance Europe, Belgium is linguistically divided. It has two main languages: 59% of its population, being 6.18 million people in the north, mainly in the region Flanders, speak Dutch; French is spoken by 40%: 3.29 million in the southern region Wallonia and an estimated 0.88 million in the officially bilingual Brussels-Capital Region or 85-90% of its residents – thus a minority there speaks Dutch, its local language till shortly before Belgium's independence. This linguistic diversity often leads to political and cultural conflict and is reflected in Belgium's complex system of government and political history.

  • Capital:
    - Brussels
  • Area:
    - Total: 30,528 km² (139th)
       11,787 sq mi
    - Water (%): 6.4
  • Independence:
    - Declared: October 4, 1830 
    - Recognised: April 19, 1839
    - Accession to EU: March 25, 1957
  • Official languages:
    - Dutch, French, German
  • Population:
    - 2005 estimate: 10,419,000 (76th)
    - 2001 census: 10,296,350
    - Density: 339.50 (2005)/km² (29th)
       886/sq mi
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