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Belgium

Europe

To which language should you translate to localize in Belgium?

Then, first of all, take a look at what the 100 top websites do

Of the 100 top website (Global by design ranking)*:

  • 59/100 translate into French
  • 54/100 translate into Dutch
  • 9/100 translate into German
  • 35/100 translate into English

*100 top website of which 2 are available only in English and Spanish and 3 do not localize in Belgium.

Now, if you need others information about that country to make your decision, below you can find a selection of economic/social/cultural data

Introduction


Language

Official language
Dutch, French, German

T-index 0.57%

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.

Other languages
Walloon 33%, Flemish 60%. About 10% of the Belgian population are non-native, and languages spoken include Italian, Spanish, Greek, Arabic and Turkish.

English
Very high proficiency (EF) – 6 of 112 countries/regions in the world- 5/35 position in Europe.

Demography

Capital: Brussels
Currency: Euro
Population: 11.60m
Population density: 383/km2

Economy

GDP: 513.09 billion USD (2019)
GDP per capita: 46 541.5 USD ‎(2019) ‎
Exports: $309 billion (2020)

Statistics

Internet users: 94% penetration, 10.95 million
Unemployment rate: 5.30% (2020)
Urbanisation: 98% (2020)
Literacy: 99% (2019)

Conventions

Numbering system
Arabic numerals with comma as decimal separator, dot and sometimes a space as thousands separator.

Date format: yyyy-mm-dd / dd-mm-yyyy
Time: 24h time system
Country code: 0032


Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal


The new 2021 T-index

The new 2021 T-index

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T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce.

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Facts and data


Economy

Imports
$332 billion (2020).  Cars ($22.6B), Packaged Medicaments ($17.3B), Blood, antisera, vaccines, toxins and cultures ($16.5B), Refined Petroleum ($11.2B), and Diamonds ($8.58B), importing mostly from Netherlands ($56.1B), Germany ($47.7B), France($34.6B), United States ($22.4B), and Italy ($16.6B).

Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of  age)
• 99% have an account with a financial institution
• 48% have a credit card
• 71% make online purchases

Ease of doing business
It is very easy to conduct business (rated 75 out of 100) ranked 26th out of 44 European countries ranked 46th out of 190 countries worldwide (2020, World Bank).

Exports
$309 billion (2020). Cars ($21.9B), Packaged Medicaments ($21.6B), Blood, antisera, vaccines, toxins and cultures ($21.3B), Refined Petroleum ($12.2B), and Diamonds ($8.86B), exporting mostly to Germany ($45.7B), France ($44.4B), Netherlands ($37.1B), United States ($24.7B), and United Kingdom ($20.1B).

Main local online stores
Bol.com, Coolblue, Amazon France, Zalando, Apple, Amazon US, Vanden Borre, MediaMarkt, Amazon Germany, Vente-exclusive.com (Vespee).

Economic freedom
‘Moderately free’ (rated 67.3 out of 100) ranked 23rd out of 43 European countries ranked 48th out of 186 countries worldwide (2019, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal).

Global Innovation Index
Ranked 14th out of 39 European countries, 22nd out of 132 worldwide.

The Global Innovation Index captures the innovation
ecosystem performance of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends.


Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal


Service Exports (2017)

Source: OEC


Service Imports (2017)

Source: OEC


Preferred device for cross border purchases among online shoppers in Belgium in 2016 and 2018

Source: Paypal


Distribution of employment by economic sector in Belgium in 2020

Source: World Bank


Media

Media language
French, Dutch, English

Information channels
Belgium’s media scene reflects the country’s cultural make-up. The Flemish, French and German language communities are served by largely separate public and private operators. So, unlike most other European countries, Belgium does not have a single public broadcasting organisation. Media ownership is very concentrated. Most newspapers, TV and radio outlets are owned by a small number of Belgian companies. De Persgroep is the largest private media group. Cable TV is widely watched and stations in neighbouring countries, particularly France and the Netherlands, have large audiences. Global media watchdogs give Belgium high ratings for press freedom. A law on journalists’ rights to keep their contacts confidential is “one of the most protective in the world”, says Reporters Without Borders.

The press

Het Nieuwsblad – Dutch-language daily
Het Laatste Nieuws – Dutch-language daily
Le Soir
– French-language daily
De Standaard – Dutch-language daily
De Tijd – business daily
De Morgen
– Dutch-language daily
La Libre Belgique
– French-language
Grenz-Echo
– German-language

Television

RTBF – French-language public broadcaster
VRT – Dutch-language public broadcaster
VTM – Dutch-language commercial broadcaster
Vier – Dutch-language commercial broadcaster
RTL
French-language commercial broadcaster

Radio

RTBF – public, French-language public broadcaster; stations include La Premiere, Classic 21, Vivacite
VRT – public, Dutch-language public broadcaster; stations include Radio 1, Studio Brussel
Belgischer Rundfunk (BRF) – German-language public broadcaster

News agency

Belga Press Agency Flandersnews.be English-language news site of Dutch-language public broadcaster
Belgium profile


Media data source: BBC


Internet Data

Internet users
94% penetration, 10.95 million

Share of web traffic by device
35.7% mobile phones, 59.4% computers (laptops and desktops), 4.7% tablet devices, others 0.1%

Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 93%

Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 87%

Most popular web search engines
Google (94.28%), Bing (3.42%), Ecosia (0.94%), Yahoo (0.7%) DuckduckGo (0.44%), Qwant (0.05%)

Most used social media
Facebook (55.65%), Pinterest (25.85%), Twitter (8.86%), Instagram (6.53%), YouTube (1.9%), Tumblr (0.71%)


Internet data sources: Datareportal/Statcounter


Social statistics

Life expectancy
81.70 yrs (2020)

Gender
In both French and Dutch, the use of the masculine in language is traditionally considered as comprising female and male. However, this situation is currently changing slowly. When talking to people, one has to be careful about genders. When talking or writing in the abstract, one can use only the male form.

Religion
Belgian’s are generally open to different religions as long as it does not interfere with work.

Healthcare expenditure
10.3% of GDP (2020)

Glass Ceiling Index
68.3 out 100, ranked 8th out of 29 countries.

The glass-ceiling index measures the environment for working women combining data on higher education, labor-force participation, pay, child-care costs, maternity and paternity rights, business-school applications, and representation in senior jobs.


Social statistics sources: WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF


The Data Factbook is a work in progress project. Our community is helping us to fill it up always with new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write your advices at imminent@translated.com


Languages research


Languages spoken in Belgium

Legend

  • Dutch

  • French

  • German

  • Dutch/French


The geographical distribution of languages that you will find in the maps published in this section is a work in progress. Our community is helping us to fill it up with always new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write to imminent.factbook@translated.com


Photo credit: Quentin Grignet, Unsplash