West Flanders (Dutch: West-Vlaanderen [ˌʋɛst ˈflaːndərə(n)] (listen); West Flemish: West Vloandern; French: (Province de) Flandre-Occidentale; German: Westflandern) is the westernmost province of the Flemish Region, in Belgium. It is the only coastal Belgian province, facing the North Sea to the northwest. It has land borders with the Dutch province of Zeeland to the northeast, the Flemish province of East Flanders to the east, the Walloon province of Hainaut in the southeast and the French department of Nord to the west. Its capital is Bruges (Brugge). Other important cities are Kortrijk in the south and Ostend (Oostende) on the coast, Roeselare and Ypres (Ieper). The province has an area of 3,197 km2 (1,234 sq mi) which is divided into eight administrative districts (arrondissementen) containing 64 municipalities. As of January 2019, West Flanders has a population of 1,195,796.
(and largest city)
|• Governor||Carl Decaluwé|
|• Total||3,197 km2 (1,234 sq mi)|
|• Density||370/km2 (970/sq mi)|
very high · 5th
The North Sea coast of Belgium, an important tourism destination, lies in West Flanders. A tram line runs the length of the coast, from De Panne on the French border to Knokke-Heist on the Dutch border. West Flanders has two seaports, the Port of Zeebrugge and the Port of Ostend.
West Flanders consists of the North Sea coast, followed by a very flat polder landscape. Only in the south are some small hills, with the Kemmelberg (159 m (522 ft)) being the highest point in the province. The Leie and IJzer are the main rivers. West Flanders is the only Belgian province that borders both France and The Netherlands; it is the only province not landlocked.
The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the province was 46.9 billion € in 2018. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 34,700 € or 115% of the EU27 average in the same year.
In the north of the province, most industry is concentrated in and around the cities of Bruges and Ostend. Both cities also have important seaports: the port of Bruges-Zeebrugge and the port of Ostend.
Tourism is also an important industry in West Flanders. Major touristic attractions include the Belgian coast, the historic center of Bruges, the Yser Tower in Diksmuide and Flanders Fields, the World War I battlefields around Ypres.
BC Oostende is a basketball team which plays in the major basketball league of Belgium.
List of governors
- 1830–1831 : Felix de Muelenaere (Catholic Party)
- 1832–1834 : Felix de Muelenaere (Catholic Party)
- 1836–1849 : Felix de Muelenaere (Catholic Party)
- 1849–1857 : Adolphe de Vrière (Liberal)
- 1857–1877 : Benoît Vrambout (Liberal)
- 1877–1878 : Léon Ruzette (Catholic Party)
- 1878–1883 : Theodore Heyvaert (Liberal)
- 1883–1884 : Guillaume De Brouwer (Liberal)
- 1884–1901 : Léon Ruzette (Catholic Party)
- 1901 : Jean-Baptiste de Bethune (Catholic Party)
- 1901–1903 : Charles d'Ursel (Catholic Party)
- 1903–1907 : Jean-Baptiste de Bethune (Catholic Party)
- 1907–1912 : Albéric Ruzette (Catholic Party)
- 1912–1933 : Léon Janssens de Bisthoven
- 1933–1940 : Henri Baels (Catholic Party)
- 1940–1944 : Michel Bulckaert
- 1944–1979 : Pierre van Outryve d'Ydewalle (CVP)
- 1979 : Leo Vanackere (CVP)
- 1979–1997 : Olivier Vanneste (CVP)
- 1997–2012 : Paul Breyne (CVP/CD&V)
- February 2012– : Carl Decaluwé (CD&V)
Municipalities that have city status have (city) after their names.
6. Blankenberge (city)
8. Bruges (city)
9. Damme (city)
10. De Haan
11. De Panne
14. Diksmuide (city)
15. Gistel (city)
16. Harelbeke (city)
21. Ypres (Ieper) (city)
23. Izegem (city)
29. Kortrijk (city)
35. Lo-Reninge (city)
36. Menen (city)
37. Mesen (city)
41. Nieuwpoort (city)
42. Ostend (city)
45. Oudenburg (city)
47. Poperinge (city)
48. Roeselare (city)
52. Tielt (city)
53. Torhout (city)
54. Veurne (city)
56. Waregem (city)
57. Wervik (city)
- "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
- Vlaanderen in isolation: [ˈvlaːndərə(n)].
- "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.