Belgium is in Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands. The climate is temperate with mild winters and cool summers. It is often rainy, humid and cloudy. The official languages are French and Dutch (known in Flanders as Flemish). Very few people in Flanders speak good French, even fewer Walloons speak Dutch, and using the other community's language is rarely fruitful. Many businesspeople and most government officials are also likely to speak English, particularly in Brussels and the larger towns of Flanders. The main religion is Christianity. The economy of Belgium is a modern, private enterprise economy that has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base. Belgians are generally democratic and non-discriminatory. Brussels is officially bilingual, however in the regions language can be an issue with some regions being French speaking and others Dutch speaking. Expatriate business dress is becoming less formal but remains conservative and most Belgians tend to use formal titles and surnames when addressing business associates, at least upon first meeting. The security risk for expatriates in Belgium is low. Risks include petty crime, occasional immigrant and nationalist tension, and an underlying risk of terrorism. The currency of Belgium is the Euro (EUR). Banking is on a par with the rest of Western Europe and North America. Medical facilities are good, however the cost of treatment for expatriates from outside the EU can be high. The population of Belgium is 11.3 Million (2017 est.), while the inflation rate is 2.13% (Dec 2017).
Cost Of Living
The cost of living for expatriates / professional migrants in In Belgium, the cost of each basket, based on local prices, compared to the international average, is categorized follows (Exact cost of living percentages only available in personalised reports): Belgium as at 1 January 2018 is high in comparison to other places in the world. 1) Alcohol (where available) & Tobacco: Low 2) Clothing: Very High 3) Communication: Very High 4) Education: Very High 5) Furniture & Appliances: High 6) Groceries: High 7) Healthcare: Average 8) Household Accommodation: Low 9) Miscellaneous: Very High 10) Personal Care: Very Low 11) Recreation & Culture: High 12) Restaurants Meals Out and Hotels: Very High 13) Transport: Very High Belgium is for example 10.4% more expensive than USA for groceries, -19.8% cheaper for household costs than UK, and 171.6% more expensive for transport costs than India. The hardship premium for Belgium for an expat from Australia, is for example 0%, i.e. host location (Belgium) premium of 10% minus home (Australia) location premium of 10%. Belgium is ranked as a minimal hardship location. Want to know more about cost of living, hardship (quality of living) or expat salary in Belgium? Register subscribe to your home location and Belgium and run your personalised reports.