France and Belgium are two prosperous European nations located in the western part of the continent. Both are neighboring countries; however, Belgium is tiny in comparison to France.
Area and population
Of the 50 countries that make up Europe, France is the third largest nation, covering an area of 247,368 square miles, while Belgium stands at the 34th spot encompassing an area of just 11,787 square miles. As of the 2017 estimate, France is home to 67,186,638 people compared to the 11,358,357 who are living in Belgium.
Though Belgium may be minuscule as compared to France, the country’s economy and international significance is as prominent as that of its big neighbor’s. The GDP per capita of Belgium was among the highest in the world at approximately $46,300 (2017 estimate). The nation’s highly productive workforce has enabled the small nation to emerge as an economic powerhouse. The government, through its business-friendly policies, has provided the people with a very high standard of living and an advanced healthcare and educational infrastructure. By Nominal GDP, Belgium is the 23rd largest economy in the world and by Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) it is the 38th largest.
France has one of the strongest economies in the world. As of 2017 estimate, the Per capita GDP of France stood at $43,600. By Nominal GDP, France is the seventh-largest economy in the world and by Purchasing Power Parity it is the 11th largest. France is also one of the most popular travel destinations and this sector contributes significantly to the country’s GDP. More than 80 million tourists visit France every year to witness several attractions that the country offers. The country has a robust education and healthcare infrastructure and ranks high on the human development index.
Both France and Belgium have a significant presence at an international level. Belgium is the founding member of many prestigious international organizations such as the European Union (EU), NATO, WTO, OECD, etc. Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is among the most prosperous capitals of the world and is the seat of significant organizations and institutions such as the European Parliament and European Commission, to name a few.
France exerts considerable influence on world affairs as it is one of the five permanent members of the UNSC with veto power. It is also a member of leading international organizations such as NATO, European Union, OECD, and WTO.
Though France is much bigger than Belgium in terms of area and population, Belgium is not far behind when the two countries are compared on economic grounds and their presence at an international level.