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Kingdom of Belgium
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Flaga Coat of arms
Motto: "Eendracht maakt macht"{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} (Dutch)
"L'union fait la force"{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} (language?)
"Einigkeit macht stark"{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} (language?)
(literally, "Unity makes strength")
"Strength through Unity"
Anthem: "Brabançonne"
(instrumental version)
Location of  Belgium{{#invoke:String
Location of  Belgium{{#invoke:String|rep| |2}}(dark green)

– in Europe{{#invoke:String|rep| |2}}(green & dark grey)
– in the European Union{{#invoke:String|rep| |2}}(green)

Capital
and largest city
Brusselsb
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Official languages Dutch, French, German
Ethnic groups see Demographics
Demonym Belgian
Government Federal parliamentary
constitutional monarchy<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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 -  Monarch Philippe
 -  Prime Minister Charles Michel
Legislature Federal Parliament
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house Chamber of Representatives
Independence from the Netherlands
 -  Declared 4 October 1830 
 -  Recognised 19 April 1839 
 -  Founded the EEC (now the EU) 1 January 1958 
Area
 -  Total 30,528 km2 (140th)
11,787 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 6.4
Population
 -  1 February 2015 census 11,239,755<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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 -  Density 363.6/km2 (23rd)
941.68/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2015 estimate
 -  Total $494.620 billion<ref name=IMF>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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 -  Per capita $43,629<ref name=IMF /> (20th)
GDP (nominal) 2015 estimate
 -  Total $458.651 billion<ref name=IMF /> (23rd)
 -  Per capita $40,456<ref name=IMF /> (17th)
Gini (2011)26.3<ref name=eurogini>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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low
HDI (2013)Steady 0.881<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation

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very high · 21st
Currency Euro () (EUR)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 -  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Drives on the right
Calling code 32
ISO 3166 code BE
Internet TLD .bec
a. The flag's official proportions of 13:15 are rarely seen; proportions of 2:3 or similar are more common.
b. The Brussels region is the de facto capital, but the City of Brussels municipality is the de jure capital
c. The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.

Belgium ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}}; About this sound [ˈbɛlɣijə]; French: Belgique{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} About this sound [bɛlʒik]; German: Belgien{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} About this sound [ˈbɛlɡiən]), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts several of the EU's official seats and as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.<ref group="nb" name="Note-1">Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many international organizations, including ACCT, AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-10, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MONUC (observers), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNECE, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIK, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WADB (non-regional), WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC.</ref> Belgium covers an area of {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} and 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-speaking, mostly Flemish community, which constitutes about 59% of the population, and the French-speaking, mostly Walloon population, which comprises 41% of all Belgians. Additionally, there is a small group of German-speakers (92000 people )who are officially recognized, and have legal representatives in parliament.Most of these citizens live in the 'Oostkantons' like Eupen, Malmedy an Sankt Vith located around the 'Hoge Venen'(Dutch)or 'Haute Fagnes'(French), and bordering Germany.

A last and very small group with a fourth language can be found in Vresse-Sur-Semois,one municipality (1!)were they speak Champenois, the local dialect in the champagne-area.The language is recognised by France and the Walloon's part of Belgium.

Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. Its 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.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
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|CitationClass=web }}</ref> A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia.<ref>The German-speaking Community at Belgium.be</ref><ref name="German-speaking_Community">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }} The (original) version in German language (already) mentions 73,000 instead of 71,500 inhabitants.</ref> Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of government.<ref name="bbcnews1">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=news }}</ref><ref name="paulderidder">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries; it once covered a somewhat larger area than the current Benelux group of states. The region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica, which covered more or less the same area. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. From the 16th century until the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, the area of Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, causing it to be dubbed the "Battlefield of Europe,"<ref name=Hass>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}—The book reviewer, Haß, attributes the expression in English to James Howell in 1640. Howell's original phrase "the cockpit of Christendom" became modified afterwards, as shown by:
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|CitationClass=web }} (See also The Nuttall Encyclopaedia)</ref> a reputation strengthened by both world wars.

Upon its independence, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution<ref name="Fitzmaurice">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref name="EUbusiness">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.<ref name=Karl>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups remain; the formation of a coalition government took 18 months following the June 2010 federal election.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>


Belgium sections
Intro   History    Geography    Politics    Economy    Demographics    Culture    See also    Notes    References    External links   

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