Belgium’s Regions And Provinces Explained

Many of you might have heard of or know a little bit about Belgium, but are probably not aware of its main regions and provinces.

As a small Western European country, Belgium is located in the northwest of the continent and is bordered by four countries: the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and France. Due to its history, it is dominated by two languages, Dutch in the north and French in the south, with s sprinkle of German thrown in along the German border.

Currently, there are 11.7 million people living in Belgium, with two-thirds in the north, and the rest in the more sparsely populated south.

Belgian Regions

belgian regions map
Map of Belgian Regions (Based on an image from Wikimedia)

Officially, Belgium is divided into three main regions:

  • Flanders: the Flemish Regi
  • Wallonia (the Walloon Region)
  • The Brussels-Capital Region (including the Brussels)

Belgian Provinces

Belgium's regions & provinces map
Belgium’s regions & provinces map (Image via wikimedia)

Each Belgian region is further divided into provinces, some of which you may already know. below, they are split into regions to make it easier to get an overview.

Flemish Region – Flanders

With a population of around 6.6 million and a landmass of 13.55 km2, the northern region of Flanders is the largest region in Belgium by population, but not by size. The dominant language is Flemish, a dialect of Dutch, with quite a few other foreign languages being spoken too.

Provinces of Flanders

Antwerp (Antwerpen)

The northernmost province of Antwerp is the most populous in Flanders with around 1.9 million people, which is not surprising since the largest city in the region, Antwerp, is the capital of the province.

East Flanders (Oost-Vlaanderen)

The province of East Flanders is the next largest by population with 1.5 million people and of course, it is home to the popular tourist destination of Ghent. It sits against the Dutch border next to Antwerp province with West Flanders on its western side.

West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen)

With another historic capital in Bruges, West Flanders is the next largest province by population (1.2 million) but actually the largest in size at 3,197 km2. It is also home to Belgium’s coastline and the largest town along the coast, Ostende.


A smaller province located along the German and Dutch borders, Limburg has less than one million inhabitants, with many of them living in the capital Hasselt.

Flemish Brabant (Vlaams-Brabant)

Flemish Brabant province actually encircles the capital Brussels in the center of Belgium is has quite a large population of around 1.2 million people. The capital is Leuven, known for its world-class university and historic buildings.

Walloon Region (Wallonia)

The southern French-speaking region of Wallonia has a population about half that of the Flemish part with around 3.6 million people. It is larger than Flanders at 16.8 km2 and is dominated by rolling hills and thick forests. There are also five provinces in Wallonia, which I will list below.

Walloon Brabant (Brabant Wallon)

Wallon Brabant lies south of Flanders Brabant and the Belgian capital of Brussels. It is quite a small area with less than half a million (406,000) inhabitants. The capital of this province is Wavre.


Hainaut’s capital is Mons, but it is also the financial hub of Charleroi, which also has another major Belgian airport. There are actually 1.34 million people living in this province, which is perhaps understandable given it’s proximity to Brussels.


Leige is another heavily populated part of Wallonia with 1.1 million people and its capital is also called Liege. The city was part of the commercial hub of the region which uses the Meusse river effectively.


Yes, there is not only a country and city called Luxembourg, there is also a province in Belgian. Right on the Luxembourg border no less. It is quite a large province in the south of Wallonia but only has around a quarter of a million people. It is home, however, to the beautiful provincial capital of Arlon.


With the beautiful and historic capital of Namur, the namesake province is worth a visit for sure. It has around half a million inhabitants in the heart of the Ardennes.

Brussels – Capital Region

The so-called capital region of Brussels is not only a region but also a province. And yes, its capital is indeed Brussels.

Lying right in the center of Belgium, Brussels is perhaps one of the largest and most densely populated cities in the country with over 1.2 million people. It is a mixing pot of cultures and not surprisingly the only officially bi-lingual city in the country.

Of course, it is also the capital of the European Union, making it a highly visited and popular city for yet another reason.

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