[45] Averages for the years 2000 to 2006 show daily temperature minimums of 7 °C (44.6 °F) and maximums of 14 °C (57.2 °F) and monthly rainfall of 74 mm (2.9 in); these are about 1 °C and nearly 10 millimetres above last century's normal values, respectively. Most of lowland Belgium is now used for agriculture or human settlement; small clumps of deciduous trees and grasses dominate the remaining open spaces. The wind blows frequently, and can be intense, especially from November to March. October, the same as September, in Brussels, Belgium, is another mild autumn month, with temperature in the range of an average high of 14.7°C (58.5°F) and an average low of 7.8°C (46°F). [G] Other Belgian directors include André Delvaux, Stijn Coninx, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne; well-known actors include Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jan Decleir and Marie Gillain; and successful films include Bullhead, Man Bites Dog and The Alzheimer Affair. The national dishes are "steak and fries with salad", and "mussels with fries". Belgium joined NATO as a founding member and formed the Benelux group of nations with the Netherlands and Luxembourg. [93][94] The economy is characterized by a highly productive work force, high GNP and high exports per capita. The largest group of immigrants in Belgium are Moroccans, with 400,000 people. This means they required about eight times as much biocapacity as Belgium contains. Hence, little old-growth forest remains. [204], Belgians hold the most Tour de France victories of any country except France. In winter, frost occurs on about 120 days, snow falls on 30 to 35 days, and January mean minimum temperatures are lower than elsewhere. Climate and Average Weather in Belgium. Despite an 18% decrease observed from 1970 to 1999, Belgium still had in 1999 the highest rail network density within the European Union with 113.8 km/1 000 km2. [196][197] The Trappist beer of the Abbey of Westvleteren has repeatedly been rated the world's best beer. However, the integration of the armed forces into NATO did not begin until after the Korean War. The Belgian climate is markedly variable, with frequent and rapid movements of air masses. Nowadays, to a certain extent, cultural life is concentrated within each language Community, and a variety of barriers have made a shared cultural sphere less pronounced. All of Belgium except the Ardennes lies within the zone of broad-leaved deciduous forestation. [150], Roman Catholicism has traditionally been Belgium's majority religion; being especially strong in Flanders. The temperature here averages 10.1 °C | 50.2 °F. [77], Based on the four language areas defined in 1962–63 (the Dutch, bilingual, French and German language areas), consecutive revisions of the country's constitution in 1970, 1980, 1988 and 1993 established a unique form of a federal state with segregated political power into three levels:[78][79], The constitutional language areas determine the official languages in their municipalities, as well as the geographical limits of the empowered institutions for specific matters. Rainfall is distributed throughout the year with a dryer period from April to September. The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish (Spanish Netherlands) and the Austrian Habsburgs (Austrian Netherlands) and comprised most of modern Belgium. [69], After Herman Van Rompuy was designated the first permanent President of the European Council on 19 November 2009, he offered the resignation of his government to King Albert II on 25 November 2009. Climate data and weather averages in Brussels. [30] Although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 (with plural voting until 1919) and for women in 1949. Conflicts about jurisdiction between the bodies are resolved by the Constitutional Court of Belgium. [15][170][171] Since the 1970s, there are no bilingual universities or colleges in the country except the Royal Military Academy and the Antwerp Maritime Academy. [5], In 2017 the average total fertility rate (TFR) across Belgium was 1.64 children per woman, below the replacement rate of 2.1, it remains considerably below the high of 4.87 children born per woman in 1873. [205] Jean-Marie Pfaff, a former Belgian goalkeeper, is considered one of the greatest in the history of association football. (...) Of all these, the Belgae are the strongest (...) . On 15 July 2008 Leterme announced the resignation of the cabinet to the king, as no progress in constitutional reforms had been made. Belgium has this type of climate because of the influence of the North Sea. Health care service are payable by the patient and reimbursed later by health insurance institutions, but for ineligible categories (of patients and services) so-called 3rd party payment systems exist. [81] Thus the Flemings just have one single institutional body of parliament and government is empowered for all except federal and specific municipal matters. A major non-official holiday is the Saint Nicholas Day, a festivity for children and, in Liège, for students. Wallonia was historically wealthy compared to Flanders, mostly due to its heavy industries, but the decline of the steel industry post-World War II led to the region's rapid decline, whereas Flanders rose swiftly. According to 2012 estimates, the average life expectancy is 79.65 years. The Council of Ministers is composed of no more than fifteen members. [32] Many Congolese were killed by Leopold's agents for failing to meet production quotas for ivory and rubber. The federal government employs around 12% of the civil servants. [89] They are organized into one unified structure which consists of four main components: Land Component, or the Army; Air Component, or the Air Force; Marine Component, or the Navy; Medical Component. Health care is delivered by a mixed public and private system of independent medical practitioners and public, university and semi-private hospitals. Belgium also has a strong reputation in, motocross with the riders Joel Robert, Roger De Coster, Georges Jobé, Eric Geboers and Stefan Everts among others. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Liège, Bruges, Namur, and Leuven. Another comparative study on transportation in Belgium: Among Belgium native German speakers many are familiar with the local dialect varieties of their region, that include dialects that spill over into neighboring Luxembourg and Germany. English 6 … Belgium is a member of, or affiliated to, many international organizations, including. [108], From a biological resource perspective, Belgium has a low endowment: Belgium's biocapacity adds up to only 0.8 global hectares in 2016,[109] just about half of the 1.6 global hectares of biocapacity available per person worldwide. [91] The Belgians, along with the Luxembourg government, sent a detachment of battalion strength to fight in Korea known as the Belgian United Nations Command. Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle. The climate of Belgium is cool and wet because it is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, especially on the coast and the plain. [61] It is the only country that does not have age restrictions on euthanasia. The divide has played a key part in the tensions between the Flemish and Walloons in addition to the already-existing language divide. The Court of Cassation is the court of last resort, with the courts of appeal one level below. The structure is intended as a compromise to allow different cultures to live together peacefully. [39][needs update] It lies between latitudes 49°30' and 51°30' N, and longitudes 2°33' and 6°24' E.[40], Belgium has three main geographical regions; the coastal plain in the northwest and the central plateau both belong to the Anglo-Belgian Basin, and the Ardennes uplands in the southeast to the Hercynian orogenic belt. The judicial system is based on civil law and originates from the Napoleonic code. In Brussels, Belgium, the average high-temperature slightly decreases, from an enjoyable 19°C (66.2°F) in September, to a mild 14.7°C (58.5°F). From around 1900 there was growing international concern for the extreme and savage treatment of the Congolese population under Leopold II, for whom the Congo was primarily a source of revenue from ivory and rubber production. Originated in 1832 and revived in the 1960s, the Gentse Feesten have become a modern tradition. Human poverty in OECD, Eastern Europe and the CIS", "Range of rank on the PISA 2006 science scale", "Learning for Tomorrow's Problems – First Results from PISA2003", "Humanists and Muslims in Belgian Secular Society (Draft version)", "Frontière linguistique, frontière politique, une presse en crise", "Art History: Flemish School: (1600–1800)—Artists: (biography & artworks)", "Belgian Artists: (biographies & artworks)", Brussels, capital of Art Nouveau (page 1), "Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta (Brussels)", "Western music, the Franco-Flemish school", "The Timeline—A brief history of Belgian Pop Music", "Processional Giants and Dragons in Belgium and France", "Nieuwe bierbijbel bundelt alle 1.132 Belgische bieren", "Nieuwe bierbijbel met 1.132 Belgische bieren voorgesteld in Brugge", "InBev dividend 2006: 0.72 euro per share—infobox: About InBev", "Die Stellung und Rolle der deutschsprachigen Minderheit in Ostbelgien innerhalb des belgischen Nationalstaats", Official site of the Belgian federal government, Statistical Profile of Belgium at the Association of Religion Data Archives, Official Site of the Belgian Tourist Office in the Americas and GlobeScope, Sovereign states and dependencies of Europe, autonomous country of the Kingdom of Denmark, Commission against Racism and Intolerance, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Convention on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, Prix des cinq continents de la francophonie, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Belgium&oldid=994118277, French-speaking countries and territories, German-speaking countries and territories, Member states of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Member states of the Dutch Language Union, Member states of the Union for the Mediterranean, States and territories established in 1830, Articles with Dutch-language sources (nl), All articles with vague or ambiguous time, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Articles containing explicitly cited English-language text, Pages using infobox country or infobox former country with the symbol caption or type parameters, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from August 2020, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from February 2019, All Wikipedia articles in need of updating, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2020, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2006, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Wikipedia articles in need of updating from June 2017, Articles containing potentially dated statements from 2007, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz area identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with TDVİA identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Geographical articles missing image alternative text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. In the Kempenland, however, significant areas are devoted to planted forests of silver birch and Corsican pine. Philippe Gilbert is the 2012 world champion. [103] In the 1980s and 1990s, the economic center of the country continued to shift northwards and is now concentrated in the populous Flemish Diamond area.[104]. [62], Verhofstadt's coalition fared badly in the June 2007 elections. The former is made up of 50 senators appointed by the parliaments of the communities and regions and 10 co-opted senators. [157] There are several Jewish newspapers and more than 45 active synagogues (30 of which are in Antwerp) in the country. The climate is relatively fresh there in the month of november, but it is liveable by dressing warm. [99][100] However, by the 1840s the textile industry of Flanders was in severe crisis, and the region experienced famine from 1846 to 1850. [67], On that day a new government, led by Flemish Christian Democrat Yves Leterme, the actual winner of the federal elections of June 2007, was sworn in by the king. [42][43], The climate is maritime temperate with significant precipitation in all seasons (Köppen climate classification: Cfb), like most of northwest Europe. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Because of the topography, the region has the highest rainfall in Belgium. The animal population, greatly reduced by human activities, is Eurasian. [15][96][D] One of the founding members of the European Union, Belgium strongly supports an open economy and the extension of the powers of EU institutions to integrate member economies. Belgium (hollandul: België, franciául: Belgique, németül: Belgien) vagy hivatalos nevén Belga Királyság (hollandul: Koninkrijk België, franciául: Royaume de Belgique, németül: Königreich Belgien) nyugat-európai ország, a Benelux államok tagja. [149] However Belgium is largely a secular country as the constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the government generally respects this right in practice. Belgium is characterized by mild winters and cool summers on the coast but the climate becomes more severe as you go further inland. [80] Although this would allow for seven parliaments and governments when the Communities and Regions were created in 1980, Flemish politicians decided to merge both. A number of non-official minority languages are spoken as well. The government promoted active diplomacy in Africa[60] and opposed the invasion of Iraq. However, by 2009 Sunday church attendance was 5% for Belgium in total; 3% in Brussels,[151] and 5.4% in Flanders. [161][162] Excluding assisted suicide, Belgium has the highest suicide rate in Western Europe and one of the highest suicide rates in the developed world (exceeded only by Lithuania, South Korea, and Latvia). Prior to 2014, most of the Senate's members were directly elected. Add links. Ernest Solvay also acted as a major philanthropist and gave its name to the Solvay Institute of Sociology, the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management and the International Solvay Institutes for Physics and Chemistry which are now part of the Université libre de Bruxelles. [39], The Belgian economy is heavily service-oriented and shows a dual nature: a dynamic Flemish economy and a Walloon economy that lags behind. During the reigns of Albert I and Baudouin, the Belgian royal family had a reputation of deeply rooted Catholicism. Belgium is also a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, and WTO, and a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. [B], Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. [154] The same survey held in 2012 found that Christianity was the largest religion in Belgium, accounting for 65% of Belgians. As a result, Belgium was running a biocapacity deficit of 5.5 global hectares per person in 2016. The Brussels-Capital Region is officially bilingual (French and Dutch), although French is the dominant language. The largest group of immigrants and their descendants in Belgium are Moroccans. Belgium comprises the regions of Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels. In addition, most Jewish children in Antwerp receive a Jewish education. [132][133] In 2007, there were 1.38 million foreign-born residents in Belgium, corresponding to 12.9% of the total population. This means mild winters and cool summers. It has very high standards of living, quality of life,[21] healthcare,[22] education,[23] and is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index. Contrarily to what the text suggests, the season starts as early as July and lasts through April. The climate near the sea is humid and mild. French-speaking Belgians are often referred to as Walloons, although the French speakers in Brussels are not Walloons. [186] Additionally, famous crime author Agatha Christie created the character Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective, who has served as a protagonist in a number of her acclaimed mystery novels. But for the rest year umbrella will be necessary. [20], Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and its capital, Brussels, hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European Council, as well as one of two seats of the European Parliament (the other being Strasbourg). The secular branch of schooling is controlled by the communities, the provinces, or the municipalities, while religious, mainly Catholic branch education, is organized by religious authorities, although subsidized and supervised by the communities. [110] In contrast, in 2016, Belgians used on average 6.3 global hectares of biocapacity - their ecological footprint of consumption. Since the country is small there is little variation in climate from region to region, although the marine influences are less inland. Belgium has an area of 30,528 square kilometres (11,787 sq mi). [17] 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 culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. [53], A string of Christian Democrat coalition governments from 1958 was broken in 1999 after the first dioxin crisis, a major food contamination scandal. Contemporary popular music in Belgium is also of repute. Nowadays, singer Stromae has been a musical revelation in Europe and beyond, having great success. [176] Though the Baroque style of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck flourished in the early 17th century in the Southern Netherlands,[177] it gradually declined thereafter.[178][179]. 35K likes. There are fewer than 60 days of frost and fewer than 15 of snow. This was the theatre of several more protracted conflicts during much of the 17th and 18th centuries involving France, including the Franco-Dutch War (1672–1678), the Nine Years' War (1688–1697), the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), and part of the War of the Austrian Succession (1740–1748). [169], Despite its political and linguistic divisions, the region corresponding to today's Belgium has seen the flourishing of major artistic movements that have had tremendous influence on European art and culture. Walloon is divided into four dialects, which along with those of Picard,[148] are rarely used in public life and have largely been replaced by French. According to the Eurobarometer 2015, 60.7% of the total population of Belgium adhered to Christianity, with Roman Catholicism being the largest denomination with 52.9%. [148][166] The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks Belgium's education as the 19th best in the world, being significantly higher than the OECD average. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region. The climate of Belgium is temperate maritime which means that it is largely influenced by air masses coming from the Atlantic Ocean. In rock/pop music, Telex, Front 242, K's Choice, Hooverphonic, Zap Mama, Soulwax and dEUS are well known. ), This article is about the country in Western Europe. Belgium generally has a temperate climate, with winters that are not excessively cold and with cool, rainy summers. [101][102], After World War II, Ghent and Antwerp experienced a rapid expansion of the chemical and petroleum industries. [5] The population density of Belgium is 376/km2 (970/sq mi) as of January 2019, making it the 22nd most densely populated country in the world, and the 6th most densely populated country in Europe. The major parties in each community, though close to the political center, belong to three main groups: Christian Democrats, Liberals, and Social Democrats. Since the country's independence, Roman Catholicism has had an important role in Belgium's politics. However, when the country's statistics were measured in 2018, a new calculation method was used. The country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution, when it seceded from the Netherlands. The Spa-Francorchamps motor-racing circuit hosts the Formula One World Championship Belgian Grand Prix. [47] According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the territory of Belgium belongs to the ecoregion of Atlantic mixed forests.[48]. Regional climatic differences are determined by elevation and distance inland. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries. In november, the mean temperature in Brussels is 49°F (maximum temperature is 52°F and minimum temperature is 47°F). The richest (per capita income) of Belgium's three regions is the, Native speakers of Dutch living in Wallonia and of French in Flanders are relatively small minorities that furthermore largely balance one another, hence attributing all inhabitants of each unilingual area to the area's language can cause only insignificant inaccuracies (99% can speak the language). 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