Area: 30,528 km²
Residents: 11,376,070 (January 1, 2018)
Population density: 373 E / km²
Form of Government: federal hereditary monarchy
System of Government: parliamentary democracy
Neighboring countries: France, Luxembourg, Germany, the Netherlands
Capital: Brussels National
language: Dutch, French, German
75% Roman Catholic,
0.22% Jehovah’s Witnesses
Telephone area code: +32
Time zone: UTC + 1 CET UTC + 2 CEST (March to October)
In 2020, 1,854 Germans officially emigrated to Belgium and 1,677 returned to their homeland. Within the 10 years from 2010 to 2019, 21,025 Germans officially emigrated to Belgium and 19,157 moved back to Germany. In 2020 there were officially 39,518 Germans living in Belgium as well as around 37,000 German-speaking people, most of them in the east of the country.
The Dutch-speaking Flemings (60% of Belgians) live in the north, the French-speaking Walloons (39%) and the Germans (1%) in the south. Brussels, the capital, is considered bilingual. 15,000 to 20,000 people are caravan residents of the Yeniche, Manouches and Roma. There are also immigrants from many parts of Europe and Africa.
Belgium has two operating nuclear power plants. In 2011 it was announced that the country plans to phase out nuclear power by 2025. Thanks to its central location as a European trading center, Belgium has one of the world’s densest infrastructure networks. The port is Antwerp is also one of the largest and most important seaports in the world.
General provisions for travel and residence (until the corona pandemic)
No residence permit or visa is required up to a stay of 3 months. If you stay longer, you have to apply for a residence permit at the responsible consulate in your Belgian place of residence, which is, however, issued to German citizens without any problems.
Live and work
You can start work without the hassle of bureaucracy. You can accept any job in Belgium without a special work permit or you can pursue a self-employed activity. The job search is done privately through advertisements or through the Belgian employment office. You can have certificates of proficiency such as vocational qualifications or university degrees recognized here.
The maximum working time is limited by law to 8 hours per day and 39 hours per week. Bonuses must be paid for overtime. The employee is entitled to annual leave of at least 20 working days (but only from the second year of employment). Belgium has 10 public holidays. Social insurance is very good and covers all relevant areas, such as illness, unemployment, maternity protection, etc.
Tourism plays a major role in Belgium. Mostly Germans, British, Luxembourgers, French and Dutch visit Belgium. The holiday resorts on the North Sea coast (Knokke-Heist, Bredene, De Panne, Nieuwpoort, Oostende and others) are just as popular as the cities of Bruges, Brussels, Hasselt, Ghent and Antwerp.
Cost of living
You need around € 3,843.30 in Brussels to maintain the same standard of living that you have in Berlin with € 3,700.00 (assuming you rent in these cities).
- Consumer prices in Brussels are 8.45% higher than in Berlin (excluding rent)
- Consumer prices including rent in Brussels are 3.87% higher than in Berlin
- Rental prices in Brussels are 6.20% lower than in Berlin
- Restaurant prices in Brussels are 27.49% higher than in Berlin
- Food prices in Brussels are 11.54% higher than in Berlin
- The local purchasing power in Brussels is 7.88% lower than in Berlin
Average cost of living in Brussels (from 06/2020 – 05/2021)
|Restaurant||Ø € Price||€ Price from / to|
|Food, price w. restaurant||15.00||10.00-20.00|
|Middle class, 3 courses for 2 people.||60.00||45.00-100.00|
|Local beer, 0.5 l||4.00||2.00 – 5.00|
|Imported beer, 0.33 l||4.00||3.00 – 5.00|
|Coca / Pepsi (0.33 l)||2.34||1.80-3.00|
|Water (0.33 l)||2.04||1.50-3.00|
|Food||Ø € Price||€ Price from / to|
|Milk (1 L)||1.03||0.68-1.89|
|White bread (500g)||1.66||1.00-2.80|
|Rice (white), (1kg)||1.88||1.00-3.00|
|Local cheese (1kg)||12.42||8.00-20.00|
|Chicken breast fillet (1kg)||9.17||5.00 – 12.00|
|Oranges (1kg)||2.41||1.50 – 6.80|
|Lettuce (1 head)||1.26||0.99-1.90|
|Water (1.5 l)||1.09||0.50-2.00|
|Bottle of wine (middle class)||7.00||5.00 -12.00|
|Local beer (0.5 l)||1.71||1.00 – 2.50|
|Imported beer (0.33 l)||2.01||1.50-3.00|
Average costs for local transport, utilities, clothing, leisure, education of Brussels (from 06/2020 – 05/2021)
|Mode of Transport||Ø € Price||€ Price from / to|
|Monthly pass||50.00||49.00 -55.00|
|Taxi base amount||4.94||2.50-5.00|
|Taxi 1 km||1.94||1.80-2.00|
|Ancillary housing costs||Ø € Price||€ Price from / to|
|for 85 sqm apartment (electricity, water, garbage, etc.||128.26||90.67-212.50|
|1 minute prepaid mobile tariff||0.24||0.10-0.30|
|Internet (60 Mbps or more, unlimited data, cable / ADSL)||44.16||34.00 – 50.00|
|Clothes, shoes||Ø € Price||€ Price from / to|
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||76.52||40.00-120.00|
|Summer dress (Zara, H&M,…||34.45||20.00 – 60.00|
|Nike sports shoes, middle class||79.26||50.00-100.00|
|Leather business shoes||115.00||65.00 – 200.00|
|leisure time||Ø € Price||€ Price from / to|
|Fitness center, month / adult||34.17||20.00 – 75.00|
|Tennis, 1 hour on weekends||20.50||12.00 – 28.00|
|a movie ticket||12.00||10.00 – 13.50|
|training||Ø € Price||€ Price from / to|
|Preschool / Kindergarten, private, whole day, monthly per child||771.73||700.00 – 1,000.00|
|International primary school per year and child||21,435.00||12,000.00 – 36,000.00|
Average rental prices / purchase and salaries of Brussels (from 06/2020 – 05/2021)
|Monthly rental price||Ø € Price||€ Price from / to|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in the city center||847.93||700.00 – 1,125.00|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) outside the center||701.00||600.00 – 850.00|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in the city center||1,531.25||1,300.00 – 2,200.00|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside the center||1,274.80||1,000.00 – 1,800.00|
|Purchase price of apartments||Ø € Price||€ Price from / to|
|Price per square meter for an apartment in the city – purchase||3,650.31||3,000.00 – 5,000.00|
|Price per square meter – apartment outside the center – purchase||2,816.15||2,000.00 – 3,500.00|
|wages||Ø € Price||€ Price from / to|
|Average monthly salary (after taxes)||2,430.46||–|
Real estate acquisition and investments
In principle, an oral agreement between the buyer and seller is also to be regarded here as a legally binding contract.
As a rule, when purchasing a property, a so-called preliminary contract is concluded and a 10% down payment is made. You should make sure that the period between the preliminary contract and the final sales contract is no more than four months. Otherwise, the registration fee (around 10 to 12.5%) will be charged twice.
Real estate is still cheap here in many places. However, don’t forget that the total cost of ownership increases the price of the home by 15 to 20%. In addition, when buying a new house, VAT of 21% is due.
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Emigration and living in Belgium – conclusion
Easy immigration. Further advantages are: Peaceful country, many speak German, high standard of living. But first you should check in which region you want to live, because you should be able to speak the language there – either Dutch, French or German.