Fun Facts about Belgium

Gravensteen, a castle in Belgium.
Gravensteen, a castle in Belgium.

Belgium is known for several things including soccer and Manneken Pis, the statue of the urinating boy. Below are some of the fan facts about Belgium.

  • More than 1000 varieties of beer are manufactured in Belgium; you can drink a different variety of beer every day for three years without repeating any.
  • It has the highest taxes in the European Union and the OECD, with a rate of 59.2%, while the average tax rate for the EU IS 44.89%
  • Most beer brands in Belgium also brand the glasses that only that beer can be served in.
  • In 1999 the world’s first beer academy was opened in Herk-de-Stad, Belgium.
  • On average, a Belgian drinks 150 liters of beer each year.
  • Voting in Belgium is compulsory, and non-voters are punished by law.
  • Education in Belgium is mandatory until the age of 18, and for that reason the country has one of the highest literacy rates.
  • Euthanasia was legalized in 2002, while gay marriage was legalized in 2003.
  • Belgium grants citizenship to immigrants per capita, more than any other country in the world.
  • In March 2003, it became the first country in the world to issue electronic identity cards.
  • Belgium's road network is the only road network visible from the moon because of the number of lights.
  • It is also the country with the third highest number of vehicles per square mile.
  • Six of the seven Trappist Monasteries are in Belgium. The monasteries are known to brew their own brew Trappist beers.
  • The town of Durbuy is the smallest town in the world, with a population of about 500 inhabitants.
  • The name and symbol of the euro (€) originated is Belgium.
  • The Belgium dream involves retiring at 50 and running a bed and breakfast in the southern part of Europe
  • Belgians are known to make carpets from flowers and hold an annual flower carpet festival in Brussels.
  • Ninety-seven percent of Belgian households have access to cable television, the highest rate in the world.
  • Brussels Airport sells about 800 tons of chocolate annually and is the largest chocolate selling point in the world.
  • Eighty percent of billiard balls used by billiard players are made in Belgium.
  • The oldest shopping arcade in Europe, Galeries St Hubert, was opened in Brussels in 1847.
  • The country has the lowest number of McDonald's locations, seven times lower than the US.
  • Ninety-five percent of the population lives in cities.
  • The Belgian flag is similar to the German flag; the difference is that the colors run vertically, while the German colors run horizontally.
  • The legal courts of Brussels are the largest in the world; the courts cover a larger surface area than St. Peter’s Basilica.
  • There are two National Waffle Days in Belgium: March 25th and August 24th.
  • The Guinness Record for eating waffles is also held by a Belgian; Patrick Bertoletti ate 29 waffles in 10 minutes.
  • The oldest Catholic university is located in Belgium; the Catholic University of Leuven was established in 1425 by Pope Martin V in Belgium.
  • In 1920, Belgium became the sixth nation to hold the Olympics in the city of Antwerp.
  • Half of the homes in Belgium have a household pet. It is estimated that there are about 2 million dogs and cats in a country, with a population of 10 million.
  • In 2006 Belgium became the second country to ban forced marriages.
  • However, the divorce rate of 58 percent in Belgium is the highest in Western Europe. At least one person in a third of all marriages is a divorcee.

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