National holiday: National Day, July 21.
Nature and climate: Lowland in the west and north, the Ardennes mountains in southeast, and in between hilly.
Average temperature in January + 4°C by the coast and 0°C in the mountains. Average temperature in July + 17°C throughout the country. Percipitation between 600 and 1000 mm. In the mountains 1500 mm.
People: Walloons speaking french in the south 33%, Flemmings speaking dutch in the north 55%, and small German och French minorities.
Economy: Agriculture and fishing accounts for 3% of occupation and GNP. Most important crops are wheat, rye, oats, barley, sugarbeets, flax, tobacco, hops, potatoes and vegetables.
No other mineral resources than coal, which has lost in importance during the last decades.
Thanks to an extensive import of raw materials Belgium has developed to a highly developed manufacturing nation with the highest export value per person.
The mechanical manufacturing dominates, but Belgium also has an extensive chemical industry, as well as textiles, glassworks, papermills, graphic industry and diamond cutting.
History: The name Belgium was first used in the 18th century and the nation was founded 1830 when it broke out from the Netherlands.
Belgium was early industrialized under influence from England and made profit of old trade traditions.
In the 1880:s king Leopold II colonized Congo on a private base. Since it hade been revealed how he ruled the colony he was forced to hand it over to the government. Congo remained a Belgian colony until 1960.
During both the first and the second World War Germany occupied Belgium.
Since 1922 Belgium has an economic and monetary union with Luxemburgh.
Fighting between the two main ethnic groups have strongly influenced the internal politics.