Who Lives In Belgium?
Belgium is a country in Western Europe, bordered by the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France, and the North Sea. The country has a population of more than 11.5 million, making it the 22nd most densely populated country in the world. Belgium is actually a sovereign state and a monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organization is uniquely structured on both regional and linguistic grounds and is divided into three highly separate and autonomous regions: the Flemish Region in the north, Wallonia in the south, and the Brussels-Capital Region.
Our work in the area has truly changed the social, cultural, and economic state of Belgium. Incredibly, the need for our expertise continues to grow. Every day, CIT customers spread the word of our commitment to excellence and show exactly why we are the best.
What Languages Are Spoken In Belgium?
Belgium has two major linguistic communities. About 60% of the population, mostly in the Flemish Region, speak Dutch. The remaining 40% speak French. There is also an extremely small German-speaking community, mostly in the East Cantons, about 1% of the Belgian population. The Brussels-Capital Region is officially bilingual, though French is considered the dominant language.
How Did Belgium Come To Have Two Official Languages?
It was during the late 18th century, during the French Revolutionary Wars, that the French annexed Belgium, ending Austrian rule, and taking control of the region. In 1830 the Belgian Revolution began, and by 1831, with the installation of King Leopold, the region was declared a constitutional monarchy, as it remains today. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution of the 20th century, owning a vast number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century saw rising tensions between the Flemish-speaking and the French-speaking citizens of Belgium, mostly fueled by differences in language and culture. Historians also cite the unequal economic development of Flanders, where Flemish was spoken, and Wallonia, where French was spoken. This continuing animosity has led to a number of social reforms. Still, tensions between the groups have remained. Controversial language laws exist, making tensions even higher.
How Can A U.S. Citizen Enter For Work Or Tourism?
U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to Belgium for up to 90 days. So, if you are looking to visit Belgium as a tourist, all you need is a passport and a plane ticket (practice your French and Flemish on the way)! However, if you want to travel to the country for work, a work permit is required from an employer.