Flanders - Administrative Divisions

Administrative Divisions

The present-day Flemish Region covers 13,522 km2 (5,221 sq mi) and is divided into five provinces, 22 arrondissemements and 308 cities or municipalities.

Province Capital city Administrative arrondissements Municipalities Area Population (density)
1 Antwerp (Antwerpen) Antwerp (Antwerpen) Antwerp, Mechelen, Turnhout 70 2,867 km² 1,744,862 (587/km²)
2 Limburg (Limburg) Hasselt Hasselt, Maaseik, Tongeren 44 2,414 km² 838,505 (333/km²)
3 East Flanders (Oost-Vlaanderen) Ghent (Gent) Aalst, Dendermonde, Eeklo, Ghent, Oudenaarde, Sint-Niklaas 65 2,991 km² 1,432,326 (459/km²)
4 Flemish Brabant (Vlaams-Brabant) Leuven Halle-Vilvoorde, Leuven 65 2,106 km² 1,076,924 (493/km²)
5 West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen) Bruges (Brugge) Bruges, Diksmuide, Ypres, Kortrijk, Ostend, Roeselare, Tielt, Veurne 64 3,125 km² 1,159,366 (362/km²)

The province of Flemish Brabant is the most recent one, being formed in 1995 after the splitting of the province of Brabant.

Most municipalities are made up of several former municipalities, now called deelgemeenten. The largest municipality (both in terms of population and area) is Antwerp, having nearly half a million inhabitants. Its nine deelgemeenten have a special status and are called districts, which have an elected council and a college. While any municipality with more than 100,000 inhabitants can establish districts, only Antwerp did this so far. The smallest municipality (also both in terms of population and area) is Herstappe (Limburg).

The Flemish Community covers both the Flemish Region and, together with the French Community, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels, an enclave within the province of Flemish Brabant, is not divided into any province nor is it part of any. It coincides with the Arrondissement of Brussels-Capital and includes 19 municipalities.

The Flemish Government has its own local institutions in the Brussels-Capital Region, being the Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie (VGC), and its municipal antennae (Gemeenschapscentra, community centres for the Flemish community in Brussels). These institutions are independent from the educational, cultural and social institutions that depend directly on the Flemish Government. They exert, among others, all those cultural competences that outside Brussels fall under the provinces.

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