Main information

Basic information about Belgium

Capital Brussels
Geographical size 30 528 km2
Population (in 2016) 11 311 117 people
Official languages Dutch, French and German
Currency Euro
Religion
  • Christianity

 

  • Islam 

 

  • Judaism 

 

  • Buddhism

 

  • Hinduism
  • … 
Literacy rate 99% 
Life expectancy  78,6 years old   

Belgium in the EU

Belgium is one of the 28 countries of the European Union (EU). Belgium is an EU member since the beginning of the EU in 1951.

   All 28 countries of the European Union
 Flag of the European Union

 

Belgium is not a big country. The population of Belgium represents 1.7% of the total EU population. Although it isn’t much, Belgium is important for the EU because Belgiums capital, Brussels is also capital of the EU and the location of the headquarters of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

 

Belgium in the Schengen Area 

Belgium is a Schengen area member  since 26 March 1995.

 

 

The cost of living in Belgium

The cost of living in Belgium is relatively high. It is still considered to be affordable. When you have a job, you earn enough to get by. It can even cover the costs of living in a more expensive city such as Brussels.

Though the cost of living in Belgium is definitely high, it is nowhere near as expensive as many other western European countries. This guide will help you navigate the costs of living from healthcare and food to housing, transportation, education, and much more.

Belgium’s strategic location in the European Union makes it an important country both economically and politically. Brussels is the capital of Europe, and great parts of the Belgian economy depend on the export of manufactured goods to the rest of the EU.

What is the cost of bread?

Why is living in Belgium more expensive compared to other European countries?
Keep in mind that Belgian social security and taxes are well advanced.
What does this mean? The more money you earn, the more taxes you will have to pay. This insures that the chasm between people who earn a lot an people who earn less, isn’t that big. The standard of living is pleasant for everyone.
Belgium is among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of standard of living, according to the OECD.

You can find some products and their estimated cost below:

PRODUCT  PRICE 
A loaf of bread €1,69
Eggs (12) €2,21
A carton of milk (1l) €0,90
Rice (1kg) €1,65
Potatoes (1kg) €1,25
Chicken (1kg) €9,03
Beef (1kg)  €14,55
Bottled water (1,5l)  €0,84
Soda (0,33l)  €2,20
Yoghurt (0,5kg)  €2,39
Apples (1kg)  €1,78
Pears (1kg)  €1,75
Oranges (1kg)  €1,90
Leek (1kg)  €0,98
Broccoli (1kg)  €1,78
Tomatoes (1kg)  €2,22
 Lettuce  €1,07
 Sugar (1kg)  €0,90
Flour (1kg)  €0,64
Cheese (1kg)  €12,09

If you need more info about different products : click here

Cost of living in Antwerp

Antwerp is the largest city in the northern part of Belgium. It is also the city with the highest cost of living.

The total cost of living in Antwerp is around:

  • 17 percent more expensivethan Madrid
  • 7 percent more expensive than Munich
  • 6 percent more expensive than Rome
  • 4 percent less expensive than Paris
  • 7 percent less expensive than London
  • 21 percent less expensive than New York

Cost of living in Brussels

The standard of living in Brussels and the cost of housing and public transportation are generally lower than neighbouring European cities.

The total cost of living in Brussels is estimated at:

  • 14 percent more expensive than Madrid.
  • 4 percent more expensive than Munich and Rome
  • 6 percent less expensive than Paris
  • 10 percent less expensive than London
  • 24 percent less expensive than New York.

Cost of living in Ghent

Ghent is the capital of the province of East-Flanders. Just like Bruges, the standard of living isn’t as high as it is in Brussels and Antwerp.

The total cost of living in Ghent is around:

  • 16 percent more expensive than Madrid
  • 6 percent more expensive than Munich
  • 5 percent more expensive than Rome
  • 5 percent less expensive than Paris
  • 8 percent less expensive than London
  • 22 percent less expensive than New York.

Cost of living in Bruges

Bruges is the famous capital of Belgium’s most western located province : West-Flanders. Living standards are not as high as they are in Brussels, but the cost of living in Bruges is more affordable. Rent, food and transportation are some of the things that Bruges’ residents spend the most on.

The total cost of living in Bruges is estimated as:

  • 14 percent more expensive than Madrid
  • 4 percent more expensive than Munich
  • 3 percent more expensive than Rome
  • 7 percent less expensive than Paris
  • 10 percent less expensive than London
  • 24 percent less expensive than New York.

Public Housing

In short, public housing is provided by the government to ensure that the population has a liveable home at its disposal.
On this website you will find a lot of information about renting or buying a house. It is also available in French, Dutch and German.
One department in which this organisation is active is Social Housing. This is intended for single persons or families with limited income.

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