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A small yet populous region

Flanders is home to over 6 million inhabitants – with the majority of citizens living in the province of Antwerp. As Belgium’s northern region, Flanders makes up 45% of the country’s territory, with an area of 13,522 km². The main language spoken is Dutch, but most of the region’s inhabitants have a good command of English and French as well.

Some socioeconomic facts and figures from ‘Statistiek Vlaanderen’:

  • As of January 2022, Flanders has a population of 6,692,989.
  • Flanders’ gross value added was EUR 238.9 billion in 2020.
  • Flanders’ GDP per capita reached EUR 38,200 in 2021, ranking among the top half of the EU.

A highly productive population

Flanders not only boasts a high proportion of highly qualified workers as well as an elevated labor productivity ratio; the region also has a relatively low employment rate by European standards. 

A strong industry and growing tertiary sector

Flanders’ secondary sector remains strong. Key to boosting industrial employment and exports is the region’s increased focus on oil and chemical products, metallurgy, plastics and food processing. Meanwhile, Flanders’ tertiary sector (services) has developed rapidly and continues to do so.