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"Belgian" redirects here. Belgians_sentence_0

For other uses, see Belgian (disambiguation). Belgians_sentence_1

Not to be confused with Belgae, a group of tribes living in the northernmost part of Gaul around 100 BC.. Belgians_sentence_2


Belgians Belgen / Belges / BelgierBelgians_table_caption_0
Total populationBelgians_header_cell_0_0_0
Regions with significant populationsBelgians_header_cell_0_1_0
United StatesBelgians_header_cell_0_2_0 352,630Belgians_cell_0_2_1
CanadaBelgians_header_cell_0_3_0 176,615Belgians_cell_0_3_1
FranceBelgians_header_cell_0_4_0 133,066Belgians_cell_0_4_1
NetherlandsBelgians_header_cell_0_5_0 117,495Belgians_cell_0_5_1
GermanyBelgians_header_cell_0_6_0 20,000–50,000Belgians_cell_0_6_1
BrazilBelgians_header_cell_0_7_0 6,000Belgians_cell_0_7_1
PolandBelgians_header_cell_0_8_0 5,000Belgians_cell_0_8_1
TurkeyBelgians_header_cell_0_9_0 10,000Belgians_cell_0_9_1
South AfricaBelgians_header_cell_0_10_0 13,000Belgians_cell_0_10_1
GreeceBelgians_header_cell_0_11_0 5,000Belgians_cell_0_11_1
BulgariaBelgians_header_cell_0_12_0 3,000Belgians_cell_0_12_1
BurundiBelgians_header_cell_0_13_0 1,000Belgians_cell_0_13_1
Related ethnic groupsBelgians_header_cell_0_16_0

Belgians (Dutch: Belgen, French: Belges, German: Belgier) are people identified with the Kingdom of Belgium, a federal state in Western Europe. Belgians_sentence_3

As Belgium is a multinational state, this connection may be residential, legal, historical, or cultural rather than ethnic. Belgians_sentence_4

The majority of Belgians, however, belong to two distinct ethnic groups or communities (Dutch: gemeenschap or French: communauté) native to the country, i.e. its historical regions: Flemings in Flanders, who speak Dutch, and Walloons in Wallonia, who speak French or Walloon. Belgians_sentence_5

There is also a substantial Belgian diaspora, which has settled primarily in the United States, Canada, France, and the Netherlands. Belgians_sentence_6

Etymology Belgians_section_0

The 1830 revolution led to the establishment of an independent country under a provisional government and a national congress. Belgians_sentence_7

The name "Belgium" was adopted for the country, the word being derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that, before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. Belgians_sentence_8

The Latin name was revived in 1790 by the short-lived United Belgian States which was created after a revolution against Austrian rule took place in 1789. Belgians_sentence_9

Since no adjective equivalent to "Belgian" existed at the time, the French noun "Belgique" (or "Belgium") was adopted as both noun and adjective; a phenomenon borrowed from Latin which was still commonly used during the period. Belgians_sentence_10

From the sixteenth century, the Low Countries" or "Netherlands", were referred to as 'Belgica' in Latin, as was the Dutch Republic. Belgians_sentence_11

Belgian culture Belgians_section_1

Main article: Culture of Belgium Belgians_sentence_12

Relations between Belgian linguistic communities Belgians_section_2

Main article: Languages of Belgium Belgians_sentence_13

Belgians are primarily a nationality or citizen group, by jus soli (Latin: right of the soil), also known as birthright citizenship, and are not a homogeneous ethnic group. Belgians_sentence_14

Belgians are made up of two main linguistic and ethnic groups; the Dutch-speakers (called the Flemish) and the French-speakers (mostly Walloons), as well as a third tiny but constitutionally recognized group from two small German-speaking areas. Belgians_sentence_15

These sometimes competing ethnic and linguistic priorities are governed by constitutionally designated "regions or communities", depending on the constitutional realm of the topic, a complex and uniquely Belgian political construct. Belgians_sentence_16

Since many Belgians are at least bilingual, or even trilingual, it is common for business, social and family networks to include members of the various ethnic groups composing Belgium. Belgians_sentence_17

The Brussels-Capital Region occupies a unique political and cultural position since geographically and linguistically it is a bilingual enclave within the unilingual Flemish Region. Belgians_sentence_18

Since the founding of the Kingdom of Belgium in 1830, the city of Brussels has transformed from being almost entirely Dutch-speaking into a multilingual city with French as the majority language and lingua franca, a process that has been labelled the Frenchification of Brussels". Belgians_sentence_19

Since the independence of Belgium in 1830, the constitutional title of the Belgian head of state is the "King of the Belgians" rather than the "King of Belgium". Belgians_sentence_20

Flemish (Dutch-speaking) Belgians_section_3

Main article: Flemish people Belgians_sentence_21

Within Belgium the Flemish, about 60% of the population, form a clearly distinguishable group, set apart by their language and customs. Belgians_sentence_22

However, when compared to the Netherlands most of these cultural and linguistic boundaries quickly fade, as the Flemish share the same language, similar or identical customs and (though only with the southern part of today's Netherlands) traditional religion with the Dutch. Belgians_sentence_23

However, the popular perception of being a single polity varies greatly, depending on subject matter, locality and personal background. Belgians_sentence_24

Generally, Flemings will seldom identify themselves as being Dutch and vice versa, especially on a national level. Belgians_sentence_25

Walloon (French-speaking) Belgians_section_4

Main article: Walloons Belgians_sentence_26

Walloons are a French-speaking people who live in Belgium, principally in Wallonia. Belgians_sentence_27

Walloons are a distinctive community within Belgium, important historical and anthropological criteria (religion, language, traditions, folklore) bind Walloons to the French people. Belgians_sentence_28

More generally, the term also refers to the inhabitants of the Walloon Region. Belgians_sentence_29

They may speak regional languages such as Walloon (with Picard in the West and Gaumais in the South). Belgians_sentence_30

Though roughly three-quarters of Belgium's French speakers live in Wallonia, it is important to note that French-speaking residents of Brussels tend not to identify as Walloons. Belgians_sentence_31

German-speaking community Belgians_section_5

Main article: German-speaking Community of Belgium Belgians_sentence_32

The German-speaking Community of Belgium is one of the three constitutionally recognized federal communities of Belgium. Belgians_sentence_33

Covering an area of less than 1,000 km within the province of Liège in Wallonia, it includes nine of the eleven municipalities of the so-called East Cantons and the local population numbers over 73,000 – less than 1% of the national total. Belgians_sentence_34

Bordering the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg, the area has its own parliament and government at Eupen. Belgians_sentence_35

The German-speaking community is composed of the German-speaking parts of the lands that were annexed in 1920 from Germany. Belgians_sentence_36

In addition, in contemporary Belgium there are also some other German-speaking areas that belonged to Belgium even before 1920, but they are not currently considered officially part of the German-speaking community in Belgium: Bleiberg-Welkenraat-Baelen in Northeastern province of Liège and Arelerland (city of Arlon and some of its nearby villages in Southeastern province of Belgian Luxembourg). Belgians_sentence_37

However, in these localities, the German language is highly endangered due to the adoption of French. Belgians_sentence_38

Religion Belgians_section_6

Main article: Religion in Belgium Belgians_sentence_39

Roman Catholicism has traditionally been Belgium's majority religion, with approximately 65% of the Belgians declaring themselves to be Catholics. Belgians_sentence_40

However, by 2004, nationwide Sunday church attendance was only about 4 to 8% (9% for Flanders only). Belgians_sentence_41

A 2006 inquiry in Flanders, long considered more religious than the Brussels or Wallonia regions in Belgium, showed 55% of its inhabitants calling themselves religious, while 36% said that they believed that God created the world. Belgians_sentence_42

Demographics Belgians_section_7

Main article: Demographics of Belgium Belgians_sentence_43

Belgium had a population of 10,839,905 people on 1 January 2010, an increase of 601,000 in comparison to 2000 (10,239,085 inhabitants). Belgians_sentence_44

Between 1990 (9,947,782 inhabitants) and 2000 the increase was only 291,000. Belgians_sentence_45

The population of Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels on 1 January 2010 was 6,251,983 (57.7%), 3,498,384 (32.3%) and 1,089,538 (10.1%), respectively. Belgians_sentence_46

Notable Belgians Belgians_section_8

Main article: List of Belgians Belgians_sentence_47

See also Belgians_section_9


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