This modern, open, and private-enterprise-based economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Industry is concentrated mainly in the more heavily-populated region of Flanders in the north. With few natural resources, Belgium imports substantial quantities of raw materials and exports a large volume of manufactures, making its economy vulnerable to volatility in world markets. Roughly three-quarters of Belgium's trade is with other EU countries, and Belgium has benefited most from its proximity to Germany. In 2013 Belgian GDP grew by 0.1%, the unemployment rate increased to 8.8% from 7.6% the previous year, and the government reduced the budget deficit from a peak of 6% of GDP in 2009 to 3.2%. Despite the relative improvement in Belgium's budget deficit, public debt hovers around 100% of GDP, a factor that has contributed to investor perceptions that the country is increasingly vulnerable to spillover from the euro-zone crisis. Belgian banks were severely affected by the international financial crisis in 2008 with three major banks receiving capital injections from the government, and the nationalization of the Belgian retail arm of a Franco-Belgian bank.


$421.7 billion (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 33
$421.3 billion (2012 est.)
$422.5 billion (2011 est.)

GDP- Real Growth Rate

0.1% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 197
-0.3% (2012 est.)
1.8% (2011 est.)

GDP - Per Capita

$37,800 (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31
$38,000 (2012 est.)
$38,400 (2011 est.)

GDP - Composition By Sector

agriculture: 0.8%
industry: 22.6%
services: 76.6% (2013 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line

15.2% (2007 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)

1.3% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 36
2.6% (2012 est.)

Labor Force

5.15 million (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 73

Labor Force - By Occupation

agriculture: 2%
industry: 25%
services: 73% (2007 est.)

Unemployment Rate

8.8% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97 7.6% (2012 est.)


engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, transportation equipment, scientific instruments, processed food and beverages, chemicals, base metals, textiles, glass, petroleum

Industrial Production Growth

0.2% (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163