Although Belgium is a tiny country in Europe, it manages to divide itself into two main linguistic groups. The Dutch speaking Flemish residents are mostly in the North and the French-speaking Walloons are in the south. There are also some German speakers too, so the country is quite divided, which reflects its political history. Immigrants in Belgium account for less than 8% of the population, and they are mostly of Italian, French and Dutch descent.

The population of over 10 million residents makes Belgium quite a crowded country with busy roads and environmental problems. Water quality is very poor with insufficient sewage treatment plants, so drinking bottled water is advisable, particularly when you first move to Belgium. Air pollution is also a problem, particularly for those suffering from asthma.

Belgium, along with the Netherlands and Luxemburg (the Benelux countries) are known as the Low Countries, which pretty much sums up their geographical topography. The climate is maritime temperate which means rain and cloud for much of the year. Temperatures range from 3-18C (37-64F) so the climate is not a particular inducement to move there.


One of the founding countries of the European Union was Belgium and it adopted the Euro as its currency. Brussels is the capital city and administrative center of the European Union and is home to many international organizations. This has led to many officials, ambassadors and members of the European parliament and their entourage living and working in the city. Brussels is the main place which people relocate to for work purposes. There are a number of International Schools and European schools to serve the international community. There are also several universities in Brussels and a Military Academy. Visa information is readily available for anyone wanting to move to Belgium. It is easy for EU residents to move here and obtain a job. There is also an active ex-Pat community, particularly in Brussels.

Belgium is a highly industrialized country which again gives many opportunities for job-seekers. It has a highly productive workforce with good work ethics. Industry includes automobiles, iron and steel, diamonds, textiles and petroleum products.

It is famed for its gastronomic cuisine and many restaurants carry the Michelin star accreditation. Traditional Belgian food includes mussels with French fries, which incidentally originated here, not in France. Its fine chocolate is known as the finest anywhere. Belgium also produces over 500 varieties of beer, many of which are rated as the best in the world. It is home to the biggest brewer in the world, Anheuser-Busch whose beer production is legendary.

Almost all the country is urban but some of the historic old towns are quite beautiful, such as Antwerp and Bruges. It is a largely secular country having previously been mostly Roman Catholic. Less than 4% of the country is Muslim and they mostly live in Brussels.

Real estate in Belgium is quite affordable and there are plenty of properties for rent in the cities. It is certainly much cheaper than Britain for similar properties, although the cost of living is about the same. Europe generally is much more expensive to live than the USA, but wages generally are higher to compensate. Healthcare also needs to be researched to ensure you have adequate coverage, depending upon your nationality.