Located between 4°00′ east longitude and 50°50′ north latitude. In the northwest it is washed by the North Sea, the length of the sea border is 66 km. The Belgian coast has almost rectilinear coastal outlines. The country borders in the southwest with France (620 km), in the north with the Netherlands (450 km), in the east with Germany (167 km) and Luxembourg (148 km). Belgium is basically a low-lying country, gradually rising from the northwest to the southeast. It is divided into three parts: a low flat plain (northwest), a hilly plain (center) and an ancient smoothed mountain range of the Ardennes (southeast). The highest mountain points: Botrange (694 m), Barak Michel (675 m).
The largest and most important rivers are the Meuse (length within the country – 183 km) and the Scheldt (200 km), which flows into the long narrow branch of the North Sea – the Western Scheldt. The plains are located in the east (the Campin plateau) and in the northwest – almost to the sea coast (the fertile Frandska lowland). The soils on the northern slopes of the Ardennes are rocky and barren, those on the southern slopes are fertile in many wide valleys. The hilly and low-lying terrain that stretches north of the Meuse River is composed of tertiary clays and sands, often covered with loess-like clay (often called “Gebian clay”), which is very fertile.
The flora of the country is located in the zone of broad-leaved forests of the Atlantic botanical province – oak and birch groves with an admixture of hornbeam, beech and chestnut. The animal world has been preserved mainly in the mountainous regions of the Ardennes (black polecat, gray partridge, etc.).
Minerals: coal in the southern (Mons Liege) and northern (Campin) basins (reserves are almost depleted); quartz sand (Charleroi, Namur), development continues.
According to bridgat.com, the climate in the country is temperate, mild, maritime, with an average annual temperature of +10°C. The rivers do not freeze in winter.
Population of Belgium
Population growth rate 0.15% (2002). Birth rate – 10.58‰, mortality – 10.08‰ Child mortality reaches 4.64 people. per 1000 newborns (2002). The average life expectancy is 78.13 years, incl. women – 81.62, and men – 74.8 (2002).
The structure of the population has a number of gender and age features. The number of the male population of the country as a whole is somewhat inferior to the female one (0.96). True, at birth it prevails (1.05), but then gradually loses its leadership. At the age of 15-64, this figure almost levels off (1.02), and St. At the age of 65, there is already a significant gap (0.69). The age structure of the population: up to 14 years old – 17.3%, 15-64 years old – 65.6%, 65 years and older – 17.1%. The retirement age ranges from 56-58 years. The vast majority of the population lives in cities (80.5%).
Ethnic composition: Flemings (58%), Walloons (31%), others (11%). Over the past 10-20 years, the proportion of Flemings has steadily increased. Languages spoken: Dutch (60%), French (40%), German (less than 1%). Ethnic groups live predominantly in certain provinces. The northern part of the country (West and East Flanders, Vlaams-Brabant, Antwerp, Limburg) is inhabited by the Flemings, who speak a special language of the West Germanic group, close to Dutch. The south is dominated by the Walloons (Brabant-Walloon, Hainaut, Liege, Namur), whose language is close to northern French (they represent the descendants of the Romanized Belgians). The same language is spoken by approx. 80% of Brussels residents. Finally, in the east of the country (around the cities of Eupen and Malmedy) mostly Germans live.
The educational level is high (98% of the country’s inhabitants can read and write).
The religious composition reflects a pronounced predominance of Catholics (75%); Protestants and other faiths are less represented (25%).