The Kingdom of Belgium is a smaller but densely populated country – considered to have one of the highest population densities in the world – with 97% of its population living in urban areas in the northern two-thirds of the country. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups: the Dutch-speaking, mostly Flemish community (59 percent of the population) living in the north, and the French-speaking, mostly Walloon population (40 percent) who live in the south. One percent of the population speaks German and lives mainly in the east of the country.
Belgium is a federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy. Its central geographic location means it often referred to as the ‘crossroads of Western Europe’, with most European capitals within 1,000 km of its bilingual capital, Brussels, which is home to both the EU and NATO, and has ornate guildhalls and elegant art-nouveau buildings. It has a well-diversified economy, with a broad mix of transport, services, manufacturing, and high tech industry.