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Belgium Geography Profile 2018

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LocationWestern Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands
Geographic coordinates50 50 N, 4 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Areatotal: 30,528 sq km
land: 30,278 sq km
water: 250 sq km
Area - comparativeabout the size of Maryland
Land boundariestotal: 1,297 km
border countries (4): France 556 km, Germany 133 km, Luxembourg 130 km, Netherlands 478 km
Coastline66.5 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: geographic coordinates define outer limit
continental shelf: median line with neighbors
Climatetemperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy
Terrainflat coastal plains in northwest, central rolling hills, rugged mountains of Ardennes Forest in southeast
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 181 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: North Sea 0 m
highest point: Botrange 694 m
Natural resourcesconstruction materials, silica sand, carbonates, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 44.1%
arable land 27.2%; permanent crops 0.8%; permanent pasture 16.1%
forest: 22.4%
other: 33.5% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land230 sq km (2012)
Population distributionmost of the population concentrated in the northern two-thirds of the country; the southeast is more thinly populated; considered to have one of the highest population densities in the world; approximately 97% live in urban areas
Natural hazardsflooding is a threat along rivers and in areas of reclaimed coastal land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes
Environment - current issuesintense pressures from human activities: urbanization, dense transportation network, industry, extensive animal breeding and crop cultivation; air and water pollution also have repercussions for neighboring countries
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notecrossroads of Western Europe; most West European capitals are within 1,000 km of Brussels, the seat of both the European Union and NATO

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on January 20, 2018

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