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Top 18 Facts about Belgium

Performers participate in activities on Grand Place
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Performers participate in activities on Grand Place

Everyone knows that this country is Europe’s political centre, and home to all of the major institutions of the EU, as well the headquarters of NATO. However, it is important to supplement the official data with information about the everyday lives of the Belgian people, which is quite varied and full of colour.

  • Belgium is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Here, 320 people have to fit into one square kilometre. 97 per cent of the country’s inhabitants live in cities.
  • There have been more battles in Belgium than in any other European country.
  • It’s the first country in the world to introduce electronic identity cards to its inhabitants.
European Parliament office buildings. Brussels
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  European Parliament office buildings. Brussels
  • Belgium is the second country in the world in terms of the number of foreigners who were granted citizenship, second only to Canada.
  • Most Belgians (92%) don’t eat at home, preferring to have their meals in cafés and restaurants.
  • Belgium is the birthplace of the saxophone, the world’s first newspapers, a mathematical model the FBI uses for collecting fingerprints, and the technique of oil painting.
  • 93 per cent of Belgian families have dogs, cats or other pets.
  • Belgians are the main users of shopping coupons in the world.
Tourists queuing for traditional belgian waffles
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Tourists queuing for traditional belgian waffles
  • A typical Belgian eats around 60g of chocolate per day, which comes to around 22kg a year.
  • Belgium has legalised euthanasia, and the right extends even to minors. Same sex marriage is also legal here.
  • All adult citizens of Belgium are required to vote.
  • Of all the developed European nations, Belgium has the fewest fast food restaurants.
Restaurant street
Photo taken by Paul Arps | Flickr.  Restaurant street
  • During the night, Belgian highways can be seen even from the Moon – that’s how well-lit they are. The country is one of the global leaders in terms of road and railway density. It also has some of the highest gasoline prices, too.
  • It is considered to be one of the world’s largest diamond processing centres.
  • The country’s coastline is home to the world’s longest functional tramway line. It’s 68 km long.
  • More than 98 per cent of Belgian families have cable TV – that’s the highest percentage in the entire world.
  • Belgium makes 80% of the world’s billiard balls.
  • Europe’s first casino was opened in Belgium’s city Spa in 1763.

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