The Human Truth Foundation

Belgium (Kingdom of Belgium)

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

#belgium

Belgium
Kingdom of Belgium
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index18th best
CapitalBrussels
Land Area 30 280km21
LocationEurope
Population11.5m2
Life Expectancy80.98yrs (2017)3
GNI$41 243 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesBE, BEL, 565
Internet Domain.be6
CurrencyEuro (EUR)7
Telephone+328

1. Overview

#france #germany #netherlands

Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830; it was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II. The country prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU. Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy. Its capital, Brussels, is home to numerous international organizations including the EU and NATO.

CIA's The World Factbook (2013)9

Book CoverFabulously historic and deliciously tasty, bursting with cutting-edge art yet never really showy, gently humorous and decidedly multilingual - Belgium is a little country full of big surprises [whose] self-deprecating people have quietly spent centuries producing some of Europe's finest art and architecture. Bilingual Brussels is the dynamic yet personable EU capital, but also sports what's arguably the world's most beautiful city square. Flat, Dutch-speaking Flanders has many other alluring medieval cities, all easily linked by regular train hops. In hilly, French-speaking Wallonia, the attractions are contrastingly rural - castle villages, outdoor activities and extensive cave systems. ... Belgians create a remarkable range of edible specialities including some of the planet's most mouth-watering chocolates. Jumbo wine-soaked mussels are served up with crispy, twice-fried frites (chips). And then of course there´s the beer. Brewing is an almost mystical art in Belgium, where some of the finest ales are still created in working monasteries to age-old recipes.

"The World" by Lonely Planet (2014)10

2. Belgium National and Social Development

#economics #human_development

UN HDI (2016)11
Pos.Lower is better
Rank11
1Norway1
2Australia2
3Switzerland2
...
19Israel19
20Luxembourg20
21France21
22Belgium22
23Finland23
24Austria24
25Slovenia25
26Italy26
World Avg94.3
q=188.
Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)12
Pos.Higher is better
PPP $12
1Qatar$129 916
2Singapore$78 162
3Kuwait$76 075
...
20Austria$43 609
21Australia$42 822
22Canada$42 582
23Belgium$41 243
24Finland$38 868
25France$38 085
26UK$37 931
27Japan$37 268
World Avg$17 240
q=193.
Social & Moral
Development Index
13,14
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank13,14
1Norway30.8
2Denmark31.8
3Sweden33.9
...
15Australia42.1
16Japan43.2
17Ireland43.7
18Belgium44.6
19Spain45.5
20France45.6
21S. Korea46.7
22Slovenia48.3
World Avg88.0
q=195.

The United Nations produces an annual Human Development Report which includes the Human Development Index. The factors taken into account include life expectancy, education and schooling and Gross National Income (GNI) amongst many others..

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: Which are the Best Countries in the World? The Social and Moral Development Index.

3. Belgium's Demographics

#birth_control #demographics #health #immigration #life_expectancy #longevity #migration #overpopulation #population

Population:

Belgium's population is predicted to fall to 11 242 000 by 2030. Developed countries with falling populations face a pension's crises, whereby an increasingly ageing population must be cared for by fewer and fewer workers. Economic stability can be maintained by increasing foreign workers from younger countries. This country has a fertility rate of 1.83. The fertility rate is, in simple terms, the average amount of children that each woman has. The higher the figure, the quicker the population is growing, although, to calculate the rate you also need to take into account morbidity, i.e., the rate at which people die. If people live healthy and long lives and morbidity is low, then, 2.0 approximates to the replacement rate, which would keep the population stable. If all countries had such a fertility rate, population growth would end. The actual replacement rate in most developed countries is around 2.1.

Population (2018)2
Pos.
Population2
1China1.4b
2India1.4b
3USA327.1m
...
75Rwanda12.3m
76Tunisia11.6m
77Benin11.5m
78Belgium11.5m
79Bolivia11.4m
80Cuba11.3m
81Burundi11.2m
82Haiti11.1m
World Avg39.0m
q=195.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
23Greece81.07
24Ireland81.05
25Finland81.01
26Belgium80.98
27UK80.85
28Malta80.73
29Slovenia80.58
30Denmark80.41
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
22Azerbaijan2.16
23Chile1.84
24Bangladesh2.16
25Belgium1.83
26Algeria2.17
27Oman2.17
28Argentina2.18
29El Salvador2.18
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Old-Age Dependency Ratio (2016)16
Pos.Lower is better
Per 10016
1Uganda04.3
2Mali04.5
3Chad04.7
...
166Bosnia & Herzegovina37.3
167S. Korea37.6
168Estonia37.9
169Belgium38.1
170Switzerland38.3
171Canada38.5
172Croatia39.7
173Malta39.9
World Avg18.3
q=185.

Migration:

Immigrants (2017)17
Pos.
%17
1UAE88.4%
2Kuwait75.5%
3Qatar65.2%
...
53Belarus11.4%
54Montenegro11.3%
55Ukraine11.2%
56Belgium11.1%
57Greece10.9%
58Malta10.6%
59Italy10.0%
60Gambia9.8%
World Avg9.4%
q=195.
Emigrants (2010)18
Pos.
%18
1Dominica104.8%
2Palestine68.4%
3Samoa67.3%
...
120Egypt4.4%
121Germany4.3%
122S. Korea4.3%
123Belgium4.2%
124Syria4.2%
125Burundi4.2%
126Panama4.0%
127Norway3.8%
World Avg11.5%
q=192.

4. Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance

#Belgium #equality #freedom #human_rights #morals #politics #prejudice #tolerance

Human Rights, Equality & Tolerance (2020)19,20
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank19,20
1Sweden9.9
2Denmark14.7
3Norway15.5
...
11Finland25.2
12France25.9
13Australia26.0
14Belgium26.1
15Germany26.8
16Uruguay26.9
17UK27.9
18Taiwan28.2
q=199.

When it comes to ensuring human rights and freedom, Belgium leads the world, setting excellent examples. Belgium does the best in terms of freethought21. It does the second-best when it comes to LGBT equality22. It comes in the best 20 for commentary in Human Rights Watch reports23, opposing gender inequality24, its nominal commitment to Human Rights25 and in supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms26. And finally, it does better than average for supporting press freedom27, its success in fighting anti-semitic prejudice28 and in speed of uptake of HR treaties29. Human Rights Watch specifically states that Belgium's support of women's rights has been exemplary30.

For tables, charts and commentary, see:

5. Belgium's Health

#alcohol #Belgium #birth_control #demographics #health #life_expectancy #longevity #mental_health #obesity #overpopulation #parenting #population #smoking #suicide #vaccines

Health (2020)31,32
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank31,32
1Hong Kong18.0
2Singapore41.5
3Maldives43.3
...
38UAE76.6
39Antigua & Barbuda77.7
40Myanmar (Burma)78.3
41Belgium78.4
42Eritrea78.4
43Nepal78.6
44Bahrain79.0
45India79.1
46Cyprus79.3
World Avg92.3
q=187.

The countries with the best overall approach to public health, in terms of both public policy and individual lifestyle choices, are Hong Kong, Singapore and The Maldives31. These countries are worth emulating. And, although often through no fault of the average citizen, the worst countries are S. Sudan, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea31.

The data sets used to calculate points for each country are its average life expectancy, its alcohol consumption rate, its fertility rate, its smoking rate, its suicide rate, its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance, the prevalence of overweight adults, its adolescent birth rate and its immunizations take-up. The regions with the best average results per country are Scandinavia, Asia and Europe31, whereas the worst are Africa, Micronesia and Polynesia31.

For more, see:

Health:

Belgium does relatively well in encouraging good health, compared to many other countries. Belgium comes in the best 20 in terms of its food aid and health contributions and WHO compliance33 and in its immunizations take-up34. It does better than average in its adolescent birth rate24, its average life expectancy12 and in its fertility rate15 (but bad for Europe). Belgium does not succeed in everything, however. It falls into the worst-performing 20 for its suicide rate35, its smoking rate36 and in its alcohol consumption rate37. The prevalence of overweight adults has increased by 14% during the past 40 years.
Life Expectancy (2015)12
Pos.Higher is better
Years12
1Hong Kong84.16
2Japan83.68
3Italy83.34
...
23Greece81.07
24Ireland81.05
25Finland81.01
26Belgium80.98
27UK80.85
28Malta80.73
29Slovenia80.58
30Denmark80.41
World Avg71.27
q=190.
Alcohol Consumption (2016)37
Pos.Lower is better
Per Capita37
1Bangladesh0.0
2Kuwait0.0
3Libya0.0
...
173Poland11.6
174Russia11.7
175Seychelles12.0
176Belgium12.1
177Portugal12.3
178Slovenia12.6
179France12.6
180Romania12.7
World Avg6.2
q=189.
Fertility Rate (2013)15
Pos.2.0 is best15
1N. Korea2.00
2Brunei1.99
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.01
...
22Azerbaijan2.16
23Chile1.84
24Bangladesh2.16
25Belgium1.83
26Algeria2.17
27Oman2.17
28Argentina2.18
29El Salvador2.18
World Avg2.81
q=180.
Smoking Rates (2014)36
Pos.Higher is worse36
182Montenegro4 125
181Belarus3 831
180Lebanon3 023
179Macedonia2 732
178Russia2 690
177Slovenia2 637
176Belgium2 353
175Luxembourg2 284
174China2 250
173Bosnia & Herzegovina2 233
172Czechia2 194
171Kazakhstan2 157
World Avg 819
q=182.
Suicide Rate (2013)35
Pos.
Per 100k35
1Haiti0
2Grenada0
3Egypt0.1
...
77Estonia37.9
78Serbia38.1
79Finland39
80Belgium39.1
81Slovenia44
82Ukraine44.8
83Latvia48.2
84Japan49.4
World Avg20.93
q=91.
Food Aid, Health Contributions & WHO Compliance (2017)33
Pos.Lower is better
Rank33
1Sweden1
2Ireland2
3Denmark3
...
13Australia13
14UAE14
15Saudi Arabia15
16Belgium16
17New Zealand17
18Jordan18
19S. Korea19
20Kuwait20
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Overweight Adults (2016)38
Pos.Lower is better
%38
1Vietnam18.3
2India19.7
3Bangladesh20.0
...
134Montenegro59.4
135Belarus59.4
136France59.5
137Belgium59.5
138Lithuania59.6
139Croatia59.6
140El Salvador59.9
141Dominica60.3
World Avg49.0
q=191.

Children's Health:

Adolescent Birth Rate (2015)24
Pos.Lower is better
Per 100024
1N. Korea0.5
2S. Korea1.6
3Switzerland2.9
...
22China7.3
23Greece7.5
24Oman8.1
25Belgium8.2
26Spain8.4
27Bosnia & Herzegovina8.6
28Saudi Arabia8.8
29France8.9
World Avg47.9
q=185.
Infant Immunizations 2011-2015 (2015)34
Pos.Higher is better
Avg %34
1Hungary99.0
2China99.0
3Uzbekistan98.9
...
16Oman98.0
17Antigua & Barbuda98.0
18Cuba97.9
19Belgium97.8
20Thailand97.8
21Mauritius97.6
22Fiji97.6
23Kuwait97.5
World Avg88.3
q=194.

6. Belgium's Modernity and Learning

#education #english #intelligence #maths #modernity #research #science #technology #the_internet

Modernity and Learning (2020)39
Pos.Lower is better
Avg Rank39
1Finland8.0
2Belgium9.1
3Denmark10.0
4Sweden13.3
5Australia14.8
6Switzerland14.9
7Estonia14.9
8Czechia15.5
9New Zealand15.6
10UK15.8
11Ireland16.4
12Norway16.6
13Germany17.1
World Avg69.0
q=180.

Modernity and Education:

Research and Development (2016)
Pos.Higher is better
% RDP PPP
1S. Korea4.2940
2Israel4.1140
3Japan3.5840
...
9Switzerland2.9641
10Germany2.8440
11USA2.7442
12Belgium2.4640
13Slovenia2.3940
14France2.2640
15Australia2.2543
16Singapore2.0042
World Avg0.84
q=126.
Secondary Education (2018)44
Pos.Higher is better44
1Luxembourg100.0%
2Estonia100.0%
3Austria100.0%
...
49Netherlands88.3%
50Cuba87.4%
51Poland85.3%
52Belgium84.8%
53UK84.5%
54Jordan84.0%
55France83.5%
56Sri Lanka82.8%
World Avg63.0%
q=169.
Length of Schooling (2018)45
Pos.Higher is better
Years45
1Australia22.1
2Belgium19.7
3Finland19.3
4Iceland19.2
5Denmark19.1
6New Zealand18.8
7Sweden18.8
8Ireland18.8
9Norway18.1
10Netherlands18.0
11Spain17.9
12Argentina17.6
World Avg13.2
q=193.
Intellectual Endeavours (2017)33
Pos.Lower is better
Rank33
1Ukraine1
2Czechia2
3Hungary3
4Denmark4
5UK5
6Austria6
7Finland7
8Netherlands8
9Belgium9
10Slovenia10
11Switzerland11
12New Zealand12
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Maths, Science & Reading (2015)46
Pos.Higher is better
Score46
1Singapore1655
2Hong Kong1598
3Japan1586
...
17Norway1513
18Denmark1513
19Poland1511
20Belgium1508
21Vietnam1507
22Australia1507
23UK1499
24Portugal1491
World Avg1389
q=70.
IQ (2006)47
Pos.Higher is better47
1Hong Kong108
2Singapore108
3S. Korea106
...
18Finland99
19Estonia99
20Sweden99
21Belgium99
22Canada99
23Andorra98
24Czechia98
25Spain98
World Avg85.6
q=138.

Technology and Information:

Internet Users (2016)48
Pos.Higher is better48
1Iceland100%
2Faroe Islands99%
3Norway98%
...
19New Zealand89%
20USA89%
21Canada89%
22Belgium89%
23Czechia88%
24Germany88%
25Aruba88%
26Switzerland87%
World Avg48.1%
q=201.
IPv6 Uptake (2017)49
Pos.Higher is better
Ratio49
1Belgium55.4
2Germany41.8
3Switzerland35.1
4USA35.0
5Greece33.5
6Luxembourg32.4
7India26.8
8Portugal26.6
9Ireland26.1
10UK24.7
11Japan22.1
12France18.8
World Avg3.82
q=176.

7. National Culture

#charity #corruption #happiness #morals #politics

World Giving Index (2013-2021)50
Pos.Lower is better50
1Myanmar (Burma)2.7
2New Zealand4.0
3USA4.7
...
65Kyrgyzstan54.9
66Taiwan55.3
67Honduras55.5
68Belgium56.6
69Cameroon59.0
70S. Sudan59.3
71Colombia59.3
72Brazil62.7
World Avg67.9
q=160.
Corruption (2012-2016)51
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score51
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
12Germany79.6
13Iceland79.2
14UK78.0
15Belgium76.0
16Hong Kong75.6
17Japan74.2
18USA74.0
19Ireland72.6
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Happiness (2018)52
Pos.Higher is better52
1Finland7.6
2Norway7.6
3Denmark7.6
...
13Costa Rica7.1
14Ireland7.0
15Germany7.0
16Belgium6.9
17Luxembourg6.9
18USA6.9
19UK6.8
20UAE6.8
World Avg5.38
q=156.
Creativity and Culture (2017)33
Pos.Lower is better
Rank33
1Belgium1
2Netherlands2
3Estonia3
4Switzerland4
5Sweden5
6Denmark6
7Austria7
8Ireland8
9Czechia9
10Luxembourg10
11UK11
12Portugal12
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Open Trading, Aid and Development (2017)33
Pos.Lower is better
Rank33
1Ireland1
2Denmark2
3Sweden3
4Netherlands4
5Switzerland5
6Serbia6
7Belgium7
8Norway8
9Finland9
10Croatia10
11Georgia11
12Philippines12
World Avg82.0
q=163.

8. Peace Versus Instability

#extremism #human_development #peace #politics #religious_violence #terrorism

Global Peace Index (2021)53
Pos.Lower is better53
1Iceland1.10
2New Zealand1.25
3Denmark1.26
...
17Germany1.48
18Croatia1.48
19Hungary1.49
20Belgium1.50
21Netherlands1.51
22Bhutan1.51
23Malaysia1.52
24Poland1.52
World Avg2.08
q=163.
Peacekeeping and Security (2017)33
Pos.Lower is better
Rank33
1Samoa1
2S. Africa2
3Tunisia3
...
106Mozambique106
107Poland107
108Ukraine108
109Belgium109
110Panama110
111Equatorial Guinea111
112Botswana112
113Slovakia113
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Refugees and UN Treaties (2017)33
Pos.Lower is better
Rank33
1Austria1
2Germany2
3Netherlands3
...
10Switzerland10
11Canada11
12UK12
13Belgium13
14Italy14
15Spain15
16France16
17Cyprus17
World Avg82.0
q=163.
Impact of Terrorism (2019)54
Pos.Lower is better
Score54
1Togo0.00
2Mongolia0.00
3Swaziland0.00
...
95Sweden3.45
96Sri Lanka3.57
97Canada3.59
98Belgium3.64
99Angola3.78
100Tunisia3.94
101Tajikistan3.95
102Uganda3.96
World Avg2.78
q=150.

9. The Natural Environment

#biodiversity #climate_change #the_environment

Environmental Performance (2018)55
Pos.Higher is better55
1Switzerland87.4
2France84.0
3Denmark81.6
...
12Spain78.4
13Germany78.4
14Norway77.5
15Belgium77.4
16Italy77.0
17New Zealand76.0
18Netherlands75.5
19Israel75.0
World Avg56.4
q=180.
Energy to GDP Efficiency (2014)56
Pos.Higher is better56
1Hong Kong26.32
2Sri Lanka20.00
3Panama17.86
...
60Jordan09.09
61Slovenia08.85
62Sweden08.62
63Belgium08.47
64Guatemala08.47
65India08.40
66Cameroon08.33
67Australia08.20
World Avg09.29
q=119.
Convention on Biological Diversity
Pos.Earlier is better
Signed
1China1993 Dec 29
2Guinea1993 Dec 29
3Cook Islands1993 Dec 29
...
162Laos1996 Dec 19
163Haiti1996 Dec 24
164Croatia1997 Jan 05
165Belgium1997 Feb 20
166Dominican Rep.1997 Feb 23
167Turkey1997 May 15
168Gabon1997 Jun 12
169Burundi1997 Jul 14
World Avg1899 Dec 30
q=197.
Rational Beliefs on the Environment (2011)57
Pos.Higher is better
%57
1Argentina78.3%
2Greece77.6%
3Brazil77.1%
...
100Israel27.6%
101Palestine27.5%
102Saudi Arabia27.2%
103Belgium26.9%
104Syria26.6%
105Qatar26.5%
106Bahrain26.3%
107S. Africa26.2%
World Avg39.9%
q=145.

10. Economic Inequality and Poverty

#capitalism #economics #health #inequality #life_expectancy #social_development

Inequality in Life Expectancy (2019)58
Pos.Higher is worse58
184Chad40.90
183Central African Rep.40.10
182Sierra Leone39.00
...
23Cyprus3.60
22Montenegro3.60
21Estonia3.60
20Belgium3.60
19Switzerland3.50
18Greece3.50
17Portugal3.50
16Ireland3.40
World Avg14.59
q=184.
Income Inequality (Gini Coefficient) (2017)59
Pos.Lower is better
%59
1Ukraine25.0
2Belarus25.4
3Slovenia25.4
...
9Kazakhstan27.5
10Norway27.5
11Algeria27.6
12Belgium27.7
13Iceland27.8
14Denmark28.2
15Netherlands28.2
16Serbia28.5
World Avg38.1
q=152.

11. Religion and Beliefs

#afterlife #belief #buddhism #christianity #god #heaven #hell #hinduism #islam #judaism #religion #universalism

Disbelief In God (2007)60
Pos.Higher is better
%60
1Vietnam81
2Japan65
3Sweden64
4Czechia61
5Estonia49
6Denmark48
7France44
8Belgium43
9Netherlands42
10Germany42
11UK42
12Cuba40
World Avg9.9
q=137.

Data from the Pew Forum, a professional polling outfit, states that in 2010 the religious makeup of this country was as follows in the table below61:

Christian64.2%
Muslim5.9%
Hindu0.1%
Buddhist0.2%
Folk Religion0.2%
Jew0.3%
Unaffiliated29%

By adding up the Pew Forum data for the major monotheistic religions we can see that these make up 70.4% of the population. Yet there are simply too many who disbelieve in God for this to be true (43%). This is due to the so-called 'Census Effect', whereby many put down a religion for cultural reasons rather than because it reflects their beliefs. In highly Christian countries, as many as half of those who say they're a Christian lack any connection to a Church, and do not hold Christian beliefs (such as believing in God!).

The CIA World Factbook has slightly different data, and states: Roman Catholic 75%, other (includes Protestant) 25%62.

The Afterlife: Ipsos-NA in 2011 gathered some statistics on Belgium63. Despite the large numbers of Christians, not many have traditional beliefs in the afterlife - just 4%. More people don't know what to believe (33%). Even more people believe that upon death, you simply cease to exist (35%). Also, 1% specifically believe in heaven but not in hell (which is nice - making them possible "universalists"). 8% believe in reincarnation.

In the second half of the 19th century Belgium began a period of secularism: the state endeavoured to create an atmosphere in which all citizens were treated equally no matter what religion they had (if any). "The radical liberals were able to implement a secularist policy with the help of an emerging socialist party. By law, they reduced the impact of the church in charitable work, in poor relief, and in allocating study grants. The cemeteries were laicized, and ultimately the state schools"64. This was possible because Belgium had embraced many early forms of human rights despite the embittered opposition of Catholic Christian organisations.

Links: