Belgium is one of the world's most densely populated
countries. The increase in population after the Second World
War has been slower in Wallonia than in Flanders, but the
difference between the two areas is now insignificant. The
Flemish countries make up 3/5 of the population, the Wallons
In 2019, the proportion of urban population was 98 per
cent, but the concept of "urbanization", that is to say that
rural and urban areas develop simultaneously and intertwine,
can be widely applied to Belgium. The largest cities are
Antwerp (520,500 residents in 2017) and Ghent (259,100).
Brussels had 176,500 residents in the city itself, while the
metropolitan area had 1.2 million.
Countryaah, Belgium has three official languages, which are also
spoken languages for the overwhelming majority of the
population, albeit sometimes in the form of strongly
deviating dialects from the standard languages: French
(about 40% of the population), Dutch (about 60%) and German
(less than 1 %). The country is divided into four language
regions. Three are monolingual: Flanders (Dutch), Wallonia
(French) and the German-speaking region in the far east. The
fourth, the metropolitan region, is bilingual (French and
Dutch). The population of the capital Brussels is up to 3/4
Among the numerous immigrant languages are Italian,
Moroccan Arabic, Turkish and Greek. "Flemish" is now mainly
used as a term for the dialects in Flanders, while the
standard language is called Dutch.
About 90% of the population are Roman Catholics. The
largest among the other groups are the Protestants with
about 100,000 members. Through immigration, Islam, Judaism
and Buddhism have increased since the 1960s.
The 1831 Constitution guarantees religious freedom.
Officials received Catholics, Protestants and Jews, later
Anglicans (1870) and Muslims (1974). The first mosque was
built in Brussels in 1969. Around 1940 there were about
85,000 Jews, but the number was halved during the Second
There is no statutory state religion and nothing
concorded with the Vatican. Church and state are legally
separate. In practice, however, there is close cooperation
between the dominant Roman Catholic church and the state.
This is evident in schools, universities, hospitals and
unions. The position of the church is strongest in the
French-speaking part, weaker in the Dutch-speaking.