West Flanders (Dutch: West-Vlaanderen; French: (Province de) Flandre-Occidentale; German: Westflandern) is one of the five provinces of the Flemish Region, also named Flanders, and also is one of the ten provinces of Belgium. It is the westernmost province in Flanders.
|West Flanders (Dutch: West-Vlaanderen|
|Province of Belgium|
Bruges from the Belfry
|- location||Heuvelland, Ypres, West Flanders|
|- elevation||156 m (512 ft)|
|Lowest point||North Sea|
|- elevation||0 m (0 ft)|
|Area||3,125 km² (1,207 sq mi)|
|Population||1,181,828 (1 January 2016) |
|Density||378 /km² (979 /sq mi)|
|- summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Website: Official site|
The whole Belgian North Sea coast, an important tourism destination, lies in West Flanders. A tram line runs the length of the coast, from De Panne on the French border, via the port of Ostend (Dutch: Oostende), to Knokke-Heist on the Dutch frontier.
The province of West Flanders lies in the most densely populated area of Western Europe. It has 1,181,828 inhabitants, and a population density of 378.2 inhabitants per km². It borders the North Sea, northern France, Zeeland in the Netherlands, the Flemish province of East Flanders (Dutch: Oost-Vlaanderen) and the Walloon province of Hainaut (Dutch: Henegouwen) in Belgium. West Flanders is the only Belgian province that borders both France and The Netherlands.
The province has an area of 3,125 km2 (1,207 sq mi). In terms of area, it is the largest province in the Flemish Region and the fifth largest in Belgium.
West Flanders has a very flat landscape with polders, except for a row of dunes along the coast and an area with small hills known as the 'Westvlaamse Bergen', with the Kemmelberg (159 m) being the highest point in the province.
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. The south is known for its textile industry.
Tourism is also an important industry in West Flanders. Major touristic attractions include the Belgian coast, the historic centre of Bruges, and places where there were battles around Ypres during World War I.
The province of West Flanders is divided into 8 arrondissements and a total of 64 municipalities.
Population by arrondissementEdit
Population on 1 January of each year.
- Population per municipality as of 1 January 2016 (XLS; 397 KB)
- "WEST-VLAANDEREN". Portrait of the Regions. Retrieved 27 August 2013.[permanent dead link]
- Institut National de Statistique - Direction générale Statistique et Information économique
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to West Flanders.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide about: West Flanders|