Overview of Brussels

Geography of Brussels

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The capital of Belgium and county town of Brabant, on the Senne, Brussels (Brussel in Dutch, Brüssel in German) has a population greater than 1 million inhabitants. But Brussels refers also to the largest area consisting of 19 municipalities. We will speak of The City of Brussels for the town, and Brussels-Capital Region for the suburb.

Brussels-Capital is an area of Belgium, beside the Wallonia region and the Flemish region. Geographically, it is however an enclave within Belgium.

Regions are part of the very complex Belgium institutions (see Politic); inhabitants of Brussels have to live and work alongwith Flemish inhabitants and the French (speaking) community. Brussels is also the capital of Flanders and of the French community Brussels-Wallonia.

On the 1st of January 2005, the city of Brussels had a population of 142 853 inhabitants, spread over 32,6 km² (i.e 4381 inhab./km²); the region has a population of 1 006 749 inhabitants over 161 km² (i.e. 6 238 hab./km²).

A "language frontier" divides Belgium along an imaginary line between the cities of Courtrai-Brussels-Maastricht into a northern Dutch-speaking region and a southern French-speaking region (Wallonia). The Flemish population represents between 15 and 18% of Brussels (but 60% of Belgium); the remaining population (more than 80%) being made up by Wallons speaking French.


The kingdom of Belgium is an European State of 30 518 km², on the North Sea, with shared borders with the Netherlands, Germany Luxembourg and France. It groups nearly 10 millions on inhabitants.

East and South-East of the country are occupied by the plateau of Condroz and the Ardennes mountains (692 m at Botrangel) with the depressions of Famenne and Fagne.

High plateaux (Hainaut, Brabant, Hesbaye) lay beside the rivers Sambre-Meuse and join the lands of Campine and Flandres. On a narrow band along the coast is the area of polders.

The oceanic climate is dryer away from the coast. The water network is large: Meuse, Escaut and they sub rivers.

Update 31/05/2006

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