USEFUL FACTS FOR MOVING TO BELGIUM

This statistic shows the total population of Belgium from 2008 to 2018. In 2008, the total population of Belgium was around 10.7 million people. By 2018, the total population had increased by about 0.7 million people, leaving the total at approximately 11.4 million inhabitants. In the future, the population of Belgium is expected to increase even further. The Belgian population will reach approximately 11.5 million people in 2020 and roughly 11.8 million people in 2025. Language, economic, and political differences between Dutch-speaking Flanders and Francophone Wallonia have produced increased cleavages in Belgian society. The Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and the 19th century accentuated the linguistic North-South division. Francophone Wallonia became an early industrial boom area, affluent and politically dominant. Dutch-speaking Flanders remained agricultural and was economically and politically outdistanced by Brussels and Wallonia. The last 50 years have marked the rapid economic development of Flanders, resulting in a corresponding shift of political power to the Flemish, who now constitute an absolute majority (58%) of the population. Demonstrations in the early 1960s led to the establishment of a formal linguistic border in 1962, and elaborate rules made to protect minorities in linguistically mixed border areas. In 1970, Flemish and Francophone cultural councils were established with authority in matters of language and culture for the two-language groups. Each of the three economic regions–Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels–were granted a significant measure of political autonomy. Since 1984, the German language community of Belgium has had its own legislative assembly and executive, which have authority in cultural, language, and subsequently educational affairs.

Belgium is a highly unionized country, and organized labor is a powerful influence in politics. About 53% of all private sector and public service employees are labor union members. Unlike many American unions, Belgian labor unions take positions on a wide range of political issues, including education, public finance, defense spending, environmental protection, women’s rights, abortion, and other issues. They also provide a range of services, including the administration of unemployment benefits and health insurance programs. Belgium’s three principal trade union organizations are the Confederation of Catholic Labor Unions (CSC/ACV), the Belgian Socialist Confederation of Labor (FGTB/ABVV), and the Confederation of Liberal Labor Unions (CGSLB/ACLVB). Until the 1950s, the FGTB/ABVV was the largest confederation; since then, however, the CSC/ACV has become the leading trade union force.

This statistic compares the passenger flow of Belgium’s main airports between 2013 and 2018*. Brussels airport experienced both the largest share of passengers by a significant margin, and the highest rate of growth in 2014. The number of passengers travelling through Brussels airport increased by 14.6 percent in 2014.

Brussels is one of the largest Belgian inland port and enjoys an ideal location in the centre of Europe. It is a seaport accessible 24/7, 5 hour’s sailing from the Port of Antwerp via a canal that has only two locks between Brussels and Antwerp. The Port of Brussels offers 6 km of quays along the waterway which crosses the Brussels Region from north to south. The Port of Brussels has the objective of promoting water transport (the most environment-friendly mode of transport), the development of employment, and the fight against global warming and for better urban distribution.

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