Country profile - Distinguishing factors (Belgium)
Geography and Climate
Belgium has a relatively limited territory (30528km²- 2006) with moderate elevation levels (<700m). The main rivers are Scheldt and Meuse. It is crisscrossed by a large network of waterways and a very dense transport network (roads and railways). The country is bordered by the North Sea, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France. Belgium is highly urbanised and densely populated (10.666.866 inhabitants – 349 inhabitants/km² - 01.01.2008). The population growth rate is slow. The growth results primarily from immigration.
Belgium has a temperate maritime climate, characterised by moderate temperatures, predominantly westerly winds, cloudy skies and frequent rain. The evolution of temperatures in the past century reveals an upward trend, a phenomenon that has been accentuated in recent years. Flora and fauna in Belgium are typical of other areas of Europe with a temperate climate. Presently, only 20 % (2006) of the Belgian territory is still covered by woodland (forests of broadleaved trees or conifers). This surface area has decreased slightly since 1990, as has agricultural land, which nevertheless still occupies the greater part of the territory.