The Human Truth Foundation

Belgium (Kingdom of Belgium)

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

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#Belgium #christianity

Belgium
Kingdom of Belgium
StatusIndependent State
Social and Moral Index13rd best
CapitalBrussels
Land Area1 30 280 km2
LocationEurope
Population2 10.79 million
Life Expectancy380.048yrs (2012)
GNI3$33 429
ISO3166-1 Codes4BE, BEL, 56
Internet Domain5.be
Currency6Euro (EUR)
Telephone7+32

1. Overview

#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)8

2. Belgium National and Social Development

UN's Human Development Index
Country2012
score
Average
1980-2010
1Norway95.587.3
2Australia93.888.9
3USA93.787.8
...
14Hong Kong90.680.3
15Denmark90.183.7
16Israel90.082.7
17Belgium89.783.2
18Austria89.581.3
19Singapore89.583.3
20France89.380.7
21Finland89.281.7
22Slovenia89.284.4
23Spain88.578.9
24Liechtenstein88.390.4
25Italy88.179.5
26Luxembourg87.580.9
Data Source
Social and Moral Development
CountryScore
1Sweden88.9
2Iceland87.4
3Denmark87.2
...
10Switzerland81.2
11Germany81.1
12Canada80.8
13Belgium80.1
14UK80.1
15Andorra79.4
16Luxembourg79.4
17Ireland79.2
18Hong Kong77.1
19Liechtenstein76.6
20Japan76.3
21Estonia76.2
22France75.6
23St Vincent & Grenadines74.9
Data Source

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 values in the chart are factored by 100.

The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. 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: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).

3. Population and Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy (at birth)
1Japan83.6
2Hong Kong83
3Switzerland82.5
...
21Ireland80.7
22Germany80.6
23UK80.3
24Belgium80
25Finland80.1
26Luxembourg80.1
27Greece80
28Nauru80
Data Source
Fertility Rate
1Korea, N.2.0
2Brunei2.0
3St Vincent & Grenadines2.0
...
22Azerbaijan2.2
23Chile1.8
24Bangladesh2.2
25Belgium1.8
26Algeria2.2
27Oman2.2
28Argentina2.2
29El Salvador2.2
Data Source
Population (m=millions)
CountryPeoplePer km2
1China1 353.6m145
2India1 258.35m423
3USA 315.79m35
...
73Greece 11.42m89
74Rwanda 11.27m457
75Cuba 11.25m106
76Belgium 10.79m356
77Tunisia 10.7m69
78Portugal 10.7m117
79S. Sudan 10.67m
Data Source

Belgium's population is predicted to rise to 11.24 million by 2030. This rise is despite a low fertility rate, meaning, that this country is helping to alleviate problems with growing population in neighbouring countries by accepting immigrants, very likely as a requirement of maintaining an active workforce. 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.

4. Gender Equality

Female Vote and Stand
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
71Argentina1947
72Seychelles1948
73Niger1948
74Belgium1948
75Korea, S.1948
76Israel1948
77Suriname1948
78China1949
Gender Equality
1Netherlands0.04
2Sweden0.05
3Denmark0.06
...
9France0.08
10Iceland0.09
11Italy0.09
12Belgium0.10
13Singapore0.10
14Austria0.10
15Spain0.10
16Portugal0.11
Data Source

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Belgium is on the way towards ending gender inequality.

See:

5. Religion and Beliefs

#buddhism #christianity #hinduism #islam #judaism

Disbelief In God
1Vietnam81%
2Japan65%
3Sweden64%
4Czech Rep.61%
5Estonia49%
6Denmark48%
7France44%
8Belgium43%
9Netherlands42%
10Germany42%
11UK42%
12Cuba40%
Data Source

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 below9:

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%10.

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"11. This was possible because Belgium had embraced many early forms of human rights despite the embittered opposition of Catholic Christian organisations.

Links:

6. The Internet

Internet Users in Population
1Iceland95.64
2Norway93.28
3Netherlands90.70
...
23Australia75.90
24USA74.25
25Estonia74.16
26Belgium73.73
27Austria72.73
28Hong Kong71.85
29Latvia71.51
30Singapore71.13
Data Source

Internet access has become an essential research tool. It facilitates an endless list of life improvements, from the ability to network and socialize without constraint, to access to a seemingly infinite repository of technical and procedural information on pretty much any task. The universal availability of data has sped up industrial development and personal learning at the national and personal level. Individuals can read any topic they wish regardless of the locality of expert teachers, and, entire nations can develop their technology and understanding of the world simply because they are now exposed to advanced societies and moral discourses online. Like every communications medium, the Internet has issues and causes a small range of problems, but these are insignificant compared to the advantages of having an online populace.

Links:

7. More Charts and Comparisons to Other Countries

Personal Charitability (2013-2016)12
CountryValue12
1Myanmar (Burma)1.25
2USA1.5
3New Zealand3.5
...
54Malawi45.25
55Israel45.25
56Taiwan46
57Belgium47.25
58Chile47.25
59Saudi Arabia48
60Iraq50.25
61Zambia51.5
Economic Freedom
1Hong Kong9.0
2Singapore8.8
3New Zealand8.4
...
40Armenia7.4
41Georgia7.4
42France7.4
43Belgium7.4
44Costa Rica7.4
45Poland7.3
46Bulgaria7.3
47Albania7.3
Data Source
Global Peace Index
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
8Slovenia1.33
9Finland1.35
10Switzerland1.35
11Belgium1.38
12Qatar1.39
13Czech Rep.1.40
14Sweden1.42
15Germany1.42
Data Source
Average IQ
1Singapore108
2Korea, S.106
3Taiwan105
...
17Estonia99
18New Zealand99
19Sweden99
20Belgium99
21Canada99
22Latvia98
23Australia98
24Spain98
Data Source
Human Rights Treaties
1Argentina24
2Ecuador23
3Germany23
...
15Denmark22
16Croatia22
17Italy22
18Belgium22
19Brazil21
20Bosnia & Herzegovina21
21Bolivia21
22France21
Data Source
Press Freedom Index
1Finland99.0
2Netherlands99.0
3Norway99.0
...
18Costa Rica99.1
19Namibia99.1
20Canada99.1
21Belgium99.1
22Poland99.1
23Slovakia99.1
24Cyprus99.1
25Cape Verde99.1
Data Source
R & D Spending
Country% RDP PPP
1Korea, S.4.2913
2Israel4.1113
3Japan3.5813
...
9Switzerland2.9614
10Germany2.8413
11USA2.7415
12Belgium2.4613
13Slovenia2.3913
14France2.2613
15Australia2.2516
16Czech Rep.2.0013
Gross National Income
1Qatar$87 478
2Liechtenstein$84 880
3Kuwait$52 793
...
17Australia$34 340
18Andorra$33 918
19Denmark$33 518
20Belgium$33 429
21Japan$32 545
22UK$32 538
23Finland$32 510
24France$30 277
Data Source
Happiness
1Denmark7.8
2Netherlands7.6
3Norway7.6
...
19Ireland7
20UK6.9
21Oman6.9
22Belgium6.9
23Korea, S.6.9
24Iceland6.9
25Mexico6.8
26Brazil6.8
Data Source
Environmental Performance
1Iceland93.5
2Switzerland89.1
3Costa Rica86.4
...
84Vietnam59.0
85Moldova58.8
86Ukraine58.2
87Belgium58.1
88Jamaica58.0
89Lebanon57.9
90Sao Tome & Principe57.3
91Kazakhstan57.3
Data Source
Gay Equality
1Netherlands405
2Belgium350
3Canada280
4Sweden255
5Spain245
6S. Africa241
7Denmark225
8Iceland220
9Andorra210
10Norway210
11Argentina200
12Brazil196
Data Source

Current edition: 2013 May 01
Last Modified: 2016 May 27
http://www.humantruth.info/belgium.html
Parent page: Vexing International Issues

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Charities Aid Foundation
World Giving Index. On www.cafonline.org.

CIA
(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.

Clarke, Peter B.. Peter B. Clarke: Professor Emeritus of the History and Sociology of Religion, King's College, University of London, and currently Professor in the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford, UK.
(2011) The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion. Paperback book. Originally published 2009. Current version published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2017) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2017). Accessed 2017 Feb 20.

Dobbelaere, Karel
(2011) The Meaning and Scope of Secularization. This essay is chapter 33 of "The Oxford Handbook of The Sociology of Religion" by Peter B. Clarke (2011) (pages p599-615).

Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.

OECD
(2016) Research and development (R&D) - Gross domestic spending on R&D. Data from data.oecd.org. Accessed 2016 Sep 28.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Published on the United Nation's website at hdr.undp.org/.../HDR_2011_EN_Complete.pdf (accessed throughout 2013, Jan-Mar). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.

World Bank
Research and Development and a Percent of GDP PPP. Data from databank.worldbank.org. Accessed 2016 Sep 29.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2013) .^
  4. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  5. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  6. According to ISO4217.^
  7. According to ITU-T.^
  8. CIA (2013) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/be.html accessed 2014 Apr 27.^
  9. Pew Forum (2012) publication "The Global Religious Landscape: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World´s Major Religious Groups as of 2010" (2012 Dec 18) accessed 2013 May 01.^
  10. CIA (2013) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ar.html accessed 2014 Apr 27.^
  11. Dobbelaere (2011) p603. Added to this page on 2016 May 27.^
  12. Charities Aid Foundation . Average ranking across years 2013-2016. Lower is better.^
  13. OECD (2016) data for year 2014.^
  14. World Bank data for year 2012.^
  15. OECD (2016) data for year 2013.^
  16. World Bank data for year 2011.^

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