Update 10 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes (formerly FIPS 10-4) is dated 2012-12-31. It changes the Flemish name of Brussels
Capital Region to include the generic term Gewest.
The latest version of the FIPS standard is called "Geopolitical Entities and Codes", published in 2010-04. It shows Belgium
divided into three regions, coded as shown under "Further subdivisions" below.
The NUTS code scheme was revised in 2003. The code for Brussels Capital Region changed from
Erratum: In "Administrative Subdivisions of Countries", I gave "Région de Bruxelles-Capital" as the French
name of Brussels Capital Region. It should have been spelled with a final e, "Région de Bruxelles-Capitale".
Change Notice 7 to FIPS PUB 10-4 is dated 2002-01-10. It changes the FIPS codes for Brabant. In 1995, Brabant was split
into three province-level subdivisions: Brussels Capital Region, Flemish Brabant, and Walloon Brabant. The FIPS code
BE02 continued to apply to all three of those divisions, and I listed it on each of the three lines in
the book. Now, that code has been replaced by the codes
BE11 for Brussels Capital Region,
Flemish Brabant, and
BE10 for Walloon Brabant.
International standard ISO 3166-2 was published on 1998-12-15. It superseded ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international
standard). For Belgium, the draft standard showed
BXL as the code for Brussels Capital Region. In the final
standard, this code has been changed to
|Languages||Flemish (nl), French (fr)|
|Time zone||+1 ~|
Note: Flemish is the name for Dutch as spoken in Belgium.
Belgium has been independent throughout the 20th century, except during the German invasions of the two World Wars. It
has undergone relatively minor transfers of territory in the aftermath of those wars. The provinces trace their origins to
nine departments imposed by France in 1795. The regions originated with a constitutional reform in 1967-1971.
Other names of country:
- Danish: Belgien
- Dutch: België, Koninkrijk België (formal)
- English: Kingdom of Belgium (formal)
- Finnish: Belgia
- French: Belgique, Royaume m de Belgique f (formal)
- German: Belgien n
- Icelandic: Belgía
- Italian: Belgio m
- Norwegian: Belgia, Kongeriket Belgia (formal)
- Portuguese: Bélgica, Reino m da Bélgica f (formal)
- Russian: Королевство Бельгия (formal)
- Spanish: Bélgica, Reino m de Bélgica f (formal)
- Swedish: Belgien
- Turkish: Belçika, Belçika Krallığı (formal)
Origin of name:
Called Gallia Belgica by Romans, after an ethnic name
Belgium is divided into ten provinces (Flemish: provincies) and one capital region (Flemish: hoofdstedelijke gewest;
French: région capitale).
|Division ||HASC ||ISO ||FIPS ||NUTS ||INS ||Population ||Area(km.²) ||Area(mi.²) ||Capital ||Region||Postal codes |
|1,744,862 ||2,867 ||1,107 ||Antwerp ||VLG ||2000-2999 |
|1,089,538 ||161 ||62 ||Brussels||BRU ||1000-1299 |
|East Flanders |
|1,432,326 ||2,982 ||1,151 ||Ghent ||VLG ||9000-9999 |
|1,076,924 ||2,106 ||814 ||Leuven ||VLG ||1500-1999, 3000-3499|
|1,309,880 ||3,787 ||1,462 ||Mons ||WAL ||6000-6599, 7000-7999|
|1,067,685 ||3,862 ||1,491 ||Liege ||WAL ||4000-4999 |
|838,505 ||2,422 ||935 ||Hasselt ||VLG ||3500-3999 |
|269,023 ||4,441 ||1,715 ||Arlon ||WAL ||6600-6900 |
|472,281 ||3,665 ||1,415 ||Namur ||WAL ||5000-5999 |
|379,515 ||1,091 ||421 ||Wavre ||WAL ||1300-1499 |
|West Flanders |
|1,159,366 ||3,134 ||1,210 ||Brugge ||VLG ||8000-8999 |
|11 divisions ||10,839,905||30,518||11,783|| || || |
- HASC: Hierarchical administrative subdivision codes.
- ISO: Codes from ISO 3166-2.
- FIPS: Codes from FIPS PUB 10-4 (superseded).
- NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics.
- INS: Codes assigned by the National Statistics Institute for the 1991 census. (Brabant was a single
- Population: 2010-01-01, compiled from population registers (source ).
- Postal codes: Belgian postal codes are four digits. Postal codes in the provinces recently formed
don't correspond neatly to the new province boundaries. Note: postal codes for Belgian addresses can
identified by prefixing them with "B-".
See the Arrondissements of Belgium page.
Belgium is divided into three regions (gewesten, régions). When they were created in 1970, Brabant was divided among all
three regions; in 1995, it was split, and now each region contains provincial-level units as shown in the region column in
the table above. Here is a list of the regions.
|BRU||Brussels Capital Region|
Below the provinces, there are 43 arrondissements. Under the arrondissements, there are communes. Before 1977, they were
changed often, but the number of communes remained close to 2,500. On 1977-01-01, an act for the amalgamation of communes
took effect. The old communes were merged in various ways, creating 589 new and larger communes.
- There is a cluster of 22 exclaves belonging to Antwerp province inside the Netherlands, about 2 km. from the Belgian
border. It constitutes the town of Baarle-Hertog.
- Hainaut is split into two parts by a strip of French territory. The western part is much smaller. Comines is its largest city.
- Limburg is split into two parts by a strip of Dutch territory. The eastern part is much smaller. It is the commune of Fourons.
Origins of names:
- Antwerp: from Germanic anda werpum: at the jetty
- Brabant: Old High German bracha: new country, bant: region
- Brussels: Middle Dutch broec: swamp, sele: castle
- Flanders: possibly from Flemish vlakte: plain, wanderen: wander.
- Hainaut: Haine River, with German suffix -gau: district
- Liege: from Latin læticæ: plantations owned by læti (immigrants)
- Limburg: Germanic lindo: linden, burg: fort.
- Luxembourg: Germanic luttila: little, burg: fort.
- Wallonia: land of Walloons, from Germanic walhon: foreigner.
- 1920-01-20: The Treaty of Versailles granted three German cantons (Eupen, Malmédy, and Saint Vith) to Belgium. Although
geographically separated from it, they were annexed to Limburg. Also annexed was a sliver of land which had been neutral
territory since the Napoleonic Wars. This was Moresnet, adjacent to Eupen.
- 1923: Two communes were transferred from East Flanders to Antwerp, constituting all of the present territory of Antwerp
west of the Scheldt River.
- ~1932: Eupen, Malmédy, and Saint Vith transferred from Limburg to Liege.
- 1946-09-17: Official French spelling of Liege changed from Liége to Liège.
- 1962-11-08: Administrative reform law changed numerous boundaries. The arrondissement of Mouscron was created and
transferred from West Flanders to Hainaut. The town of Landen was transferred from Liege to Brabant. Fourons was transferred
from Liege to Limburg. The arrondissement of Brussels was split into Brussels-Capital, Brussels-Suburbs, and Halle-Vilvoorde.
The provinces of East Flanders and Limburg were also affected.
- 1970: Brussels-Suburbs arrondissement annexed to Halle-Vilvoorde arrondissement. The three modern regions were defined
geographically, but not given administrative functions.
- 1980: Regional governments formed for the Flemish Region and Wallonia.
- 1989: Regional government formed for Brussels capital region.
- 1993-11-01: Under the Maastricht Treaty, the European Union replaced the European Communities, of which Belgium was a member.
- 1995-01-01: Brabant province divided into Brussels capital region, Flemish Brabant province, and Walloon Brabant province.
Other names of subdivisions:
Note: the Flemish language is basically the same as Dutch.
- Antwerp: Amberes (Spanish); Antuérpia (Portuguese); Antwerpen (Dutch, Finnish, German, Norwegian, Swedish); Anvers (French);
Anversa (Italian); Антверпен (Russian)
- Brabant: Brabante (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
- Brussels: Brüksel (Turkish); Bruselas (Spanish); Brussel (Dutch, Icelandic, Norwegian); Brussel Hoofstadt, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk, Brusselse
Hoofdstedelijke Gewest (Dutch); Hauptstadtregion Brüssel (German); Bruxelas (Portuguese); Bruxelles (Italian); Bryssel (Danish, Finnish, Swedish);
Brysselin pääkaupunkialue (Finnish); Région de Bruxelles-Capitale (French); Брюссель (Russian)
- East Flanders: Fiandra Orientale (Italian); Flandes Oriental (Spanish); Flandre orientale (French); Flandres Oriental
(Portuguese); Itä-Flanderi (Finnish); Oost-Vlaanderen (Dutch); Ostflandern (German); Östflandern (Swedish); Øst-Flandern
(Norwegian); Østflanderen (Danish)
- Flemish Brabant: Brabante Fiammingo (Italian); Brabante Flamenco (Spanish); Brabante Flamengo (Portuguese); Brabant flamand
(French); Flaamien Brabant (Finnish); flamländska Brabant (Swedish); Flamsk Brabant (Danish); Flämisch-Brabant (German); Vlaams
- Flemish Region: Flandre, Région flamande (French); Região Flamenga (Portuguese); Región Flamenga (Spanish); Region Flandern (German);
Vlaanderen, Vlaams Gewest (Dutch)
- Hainaut: Henao (Spanish); Henegouwen (Dutch); Hennegau (German)
- Liege: Liège (Danish, Finnish, French, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish); Liége (obsolete); Liegi (Italian); Lieja (Portuguese-variant,
Spanish); Luik (Dutch); Lüttich (German); Люттих (Russian)
- Limburg: Limbourg (Danish, French, Norwegian); Limburgo (Italian, Portuguese, Spanish)
- Luxembourg: Lussemburgo (Italian); Luxemburg (Dutch, German, Swedish); Luxemburgo (Portuguese, Spanish)
- Namur: Namen (Dutch)
- Wallonia: Região Valona, Valónia (Portuguese-Portugal); Region Wallonien (German); Valônia (Portuguese-Brazil); Waals Gewest, Wallonië
(Dutch); Walenland (obsolete-Dutch); Wallonie, Région wallonne (French)
- Walloon Brabant: Brabante Valão (Portuguese); Brabant wallon (French); Vallonian Brabant (Finnish); Waals Brabant (Dutch);
- West Flanders: Fiandra Occidentale (Italian); Flandes Occidental (Spanish); Flandre occidentale (French); Flandres
Ocidental (Portuguese); Länsi-Flanderi (Finnish); Västflandern (Swedish); Vest-Flandern (Norwegian); Vestflanderen (Danish);
Westflandern (German); West-Vlaanderen (Dutch)
- After each date, c = census; e = estimate
-  Population
résidente de droit au 1er janvier, par année , Statistics Belgium (retrieved 2011-03-31).
-  Territory and Administration in Europe. Robert Bennett, ed. Pinter Publishers, London and New York, 1989.
-  A detailed map of the fragmented enclave of Baarle-Hertog was posted at http://wings.buffalo.edu/philosophy/faculty/smith/baarle.htm (dead link).