Demographics of Belgium. This article is about the demographic features of the population of Belgium, including ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
All figures are from the Nationaal Instituut voor Statistiek, unless otherwise indicated. Population Belgium had a population of 10,839,905 people on January 1, 2010, an increase of 601,000 in comparison to 2000 (10,239,085 inhabitants). Between 1990 (9,947,782 inhabitants) and 2000 the increase was only 291,000. The population of Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels on January 1, 2010 was 6,251,983 (57.7%), 3,498,384 (32.3%) and 1,089,538 (10.1%), respectively. Demographics. Languages of Belgium. The Kingdom of Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German.
A number of non-official, minority languages and dialects are spoken as well. English is widely spoken throughout the country as a second or third language by native Belgians. Official languages Legal status The Belgian Constitution guarantees since the country's independence freedom of language in the private sphere. Before the federal structure and the language legislation gradually introduced in the 20th century, French was generally the only language used by public authorities. Dutch A bilingual French-Dutch traffic sign in Brussels Dutch is the official language of the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region (merged to Flanders) and, along with French, an official language of the Brussels-Capital Region.
French German Languages. Education in Belgium. Education in Belgium is regulated and for the larger part financed by one of the three communities: Flemish, French and German-speaking.
All three communities have a unified school system with small differences from one community to another. The federal government plays a very small role: it decides directly the age for mandatory schooling and indirectly the financing of the communities. The schools can be divided in three groups (Dutch: netten; French: réseaux): Schools owned by the communities (GO! Onderwijs van de Vlaamse gemeenschap; réseau de la Communauté française)Subsidized public schools (officieel gesubsidieerd onderwijs; réseau officiel subventionné), organized by provinces and municipalitiesSubsidized free schools (vrij gesubsidieerd onderwijs; réseau libre subventionné), mainly organized by an organization affiliated to the Catholic church.
Religion in Belgium. Religion in Belgium (Eurobarometer 2012) Other Christians (7%) Other Religions (2%) Not stated (1%) Christianity, in particular Catholicism, is the largest religion in Belgium with about 57% of the population adhering to the Catholic Church, 1.7% to Protestantism, and 0.3% to Orthodox Christian Churches in the 2000s. Belgium has a separation between the Church and State, and freedom of religion.
Consequently, the State cannot force someone to adhere to a certain religion nor can it ask someone to which he or she adheres. Status of recognized denominations Roman Catholicism A typical Catholic church of Flemish villages. Roman Catholicism has traditionally been Belgium's majority religion; being especially strong in Flanders. Until 1998, the Roman Catholic Church annually published key figures such as Sunday mass attendance and the number of baptized children. Religion. Healthcare in Belgium. University Hospital of Antwerp Healthcare in Belgium is sponsored by competing mutual health associations and provided by a mixture of public and non-profit hospitals.
The government pays each mutual health association depending upon the number of registered members. Most of them are (historically) affiliated to a political institution, however there is no substantive difference between them as reimbursement rates are fixed by the Belgian government. Insurance funds do not cover 100 per cent of the patient's bills and typical reimbursement is between half to three-quarters of a typical doctor or specialist visit. Insured persons have a standardized credit card style SIS-cards which are needed in pharmacies and hospitals. The first national law concerning the finance and provision of health care was enacted in 1894, with social insurance being introduced in 1945. Organization Social security See also Healthcare.