Built-up area




The terms and definitions used in these statistics are derived from the EEC-UNO standard classification of land use.

The statistics for land use (formerly known as ‘Built-up land and related land') have largely been taken from the Land Registry (Federal Public Service Finance) and also include several parts of the large waterways. The built-up area includes land occupied by housing, roads, mines and quarries, and also other facilities, including adjacent spaces used for human activities. It also includes certain types of open (non built-up) areas that are closely linked to these activities, such as landfills, abandoned land in built-up areas, car wrecks storage sites, city parks and gardens.


This category does not include scattered farm buildings, courtyard farmhouses and outbuildings. However, land occupied by villages in one contiguous area or through similar rural settlements is included.

Remarks on quality

This statistical series is derived from other statistical series, of which the Land Registry is the most important. The quality of this series is thus also dependent on  the quality of these source series.

The statistics contain adjusted data for 2018, according to a new calculation of the total surface area of the administrative entities at the Land Registry of FPS Finance. These cover the following:

  1. Up to and including 2017, the calculation of the total surface area was based on the files from the Land Registry of FPS Finance. The data in this database were originally defined during the Napoleonic period (when the Land Registry was established). The land registry areas were updated consecutively until 2017; these were applied for the calculation of 2018. The new calculation method of 2018 only has an impact on the non-registered surfaces.
  2. In line with international conventions and the guidelines of Eurostat (the European Statistical Office) the surface area of the coastal strip up to the low tide line was included in the surface of the ten coastal municipalities. The total surface of Belgium is thus 30,688 km² (previously 30,528 km²), of which the Flemish Region occupies 13,624 km² (previously 13,522 km²).

In the light of the above, some caution is needed when comparing the data from 2018 onward with those of 2017 and previous years.µ

More recently a small correction was made by the Land Registry to the surface area of 244 municipalities of the Flemish Region. In total, this involved an adjustment of 1.32 km² to the surface of the Flemish Region. This resulted in a new total surface area of 13,626 km² (1,362,554 ha).


Statbel: Land use


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