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Government Stats: compare key data on Belgium & United States

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Definitions

  • Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
  • Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Capital city > Name: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
  • Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
  • Executive branch > Chief of state: The name and title of any person or role roughly equivalent to a U.S. Chief of State. This means the titular leader of the country who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but may not be involved with the day-to-day activities of the government
  • Executive branch > Head of government: Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day-to-day activities of the government. For example, in the UK, the monarch is the chief of state, and the prime minister is the head of government. In the US, the president is both the chief of state and the head of government.
  • Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
  • International organization participation: This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way.
  • Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
  • Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
  • Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
  • Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
  • Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
  • Country name > Conventional long form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
  • Executive branch > Elections: Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election
  • National symbol(s): A national symbol is a faunal, floral, or other abstract representation - or some distinctive object - that over time has come to be closely identified with a country or entity. Not all countries have national symbols; a few countries have more than one.
  • Flag description: A written flag description produced from actual flags or the best information available at the time the entry was written. The flags of independent states are used by their dependencies unless there is an officially recognized local flag. Some disputed and other areas do not have flags.
  • Red tape > Time required to start a business > Days: Time required to start a business (days). Time required to start a business is the number of calendar days needed to complete the procedures to legally operate a business. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen.
  • Country name > Conventional short form: This entry is derived from Government > Country name, which includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation. Also see the Terminology note.
  • Constitutional form: Constitutional form of government.
  • Transnational Issues > Disputes > International: This entry includes a wide variety of situations that range from traditional bilateral boundary disputes to unilateral claims of one sort or another. Information regarding disputes over international terrestrial and maritime boundaries has been reviewed by the US Department of State. References to other situations involving borders or frontiers may also be included, such as resource disputes, geopolitical questions, or irredentist issues; however, inclusion does not necessarily constitute official acceptance or recognition by the US Government.
  • National anthem: A generally patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.
  • Legislative branch > Elections: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Legislative branch > Election results: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
  • Democracy and rights > Press freedom index: Compares countries by their degree of government censorship, according to the Press freedom index. This index, created by the non-governmental organization Reporters without borders (RWS), is ellaborated using data from an extensive annual survey sent to professional reporters throughout the world. The survey contains questions about the type and ownership of media present in the country, freedom of speech, violence exerted against reporters, election campaigns, access of political parties to the media, etc.
  • Parliament > Seats held by women > Percentage: Percentage of seats held by women in country's national parliament or legislative houses.
  • Independence: For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. "
  • Judicial branch > Subordinate courts: This entry is derived from Government > Judicial branch, which includes three subfields. The highest court(s) subfield includes the name(s) of a country's highest level court(s), the number and titles of the judges, and the types of cases heard by the court, which commonly are based on civil, criminal, administrative, and constitutional law. A number of countries have separate constitutional courts. The judge selection and term of office subfield includes the organizations and associated officials responsible for nominating and appointing judges, and a brief description of the process. The selection process can be indicative of the independence of a country's court system from other branches of its government. Also included in this subfield are judges' tenures, which can range from a few years, to a specified retirement age, to lifelong appointments. The subordinate courts subfield lists the courts lower in the hierarchy of a country's court system. A few countries with federal-style governments, such as Brazil, Canada, and the US, in addition to their federal court, have separate state- or province-level court systems, though generally the two systems interact.
  • Basis of executive legitimacy: Basis of executive legitimacy.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Transnational Issues > Illicit drugs: This entry gives information on the five categories of illicit drugs - narcotics, stimulants, depressants (sedatives), hallucinogens, and cannabis. These categories include many drugs legally produced and prescribed by doctors as well as those illegally produced and sold outside of medical channels.
    Cannabis (Cannabis sativa) is the common hemp plant, which provides hallucinogens with some sedative properties, and includes marijuana (pot, Acapulco gold, grass, reefer), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, Marinol), hashish (hash), and hashish oil (hash oil).
    Coca (mostly Erythroxylum coca) is a bush with leaves that contain the stimulant used to make cocaine. Coca is not to be confused with cocoa, which comes from cacao seeds and is used in making chocolate, cocoa, and cocoa butter.
    Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the leaves of the coca bush.
    Depressants (sedatives) are drugs that reduce tension and anxiety and include chloral hydrate, barbiturates (Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (Librium, Valium), methaqualone (Quaalude), glutethimide (Doriden), and others (Equanil, Placidyl, Valmid).
    Drugs are any chemical substances that effect a physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral change in an individual.
    Drug abuse is the use of any licit or illicit chemical substance that results in physical, mental, emotional, or behavioral impairment in an individual.
    Hallucinogens are drugs that affect sensation, thinking, self-awareness, and emotion. Hallucinogens include LSD (acid, microdot), mescaline and peyote (mexc, buttons, cactus), amphetamine variants (PMA, STP, DOB), phencyclidine (PCP, angel dust, hog), phencyclidine analogues (PCE, PCPy, TCP), and others (psilocybin, psilocyn).
    Hashish is the resinous exudate of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
    Heroin is a semisynthetic derivative of morphine.
    Mandrax is a trade name for methaqualone, a pharmaceutical depressant.
    Marijuana is the dried leaf of the cannabis or hemp plant (Cannabis sativa).
    Methaqualone is a pharmaceutical depressant, referred to as mandrax in Southwest Asia and Africa.
    Narcotics are drugs that relieve pain, often induce sleep, and refer to opium, opium derivatives, and synthetic substitutes. Natural narcotics include opium (paregoric, parepectolin), morphine (MS-Contin, Roxanol), codeine (Tylenol with codeine, Empirin with codeine, Robitussin AC), and thebaine. Semisynthetic narcotics ...
    Full definition
  • Democracy and rights > Freedom of the press: Compares countries by freedom of the press. The lower the score, the more free the press of that country is. The scores are taken from the Freedom of the Press Index, elaborated by Freedom House, self-defined as "an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world". The data used in the index come from an annual survey of media independence in 197 countries and territories, assessing the degree of print, broadcast, and internet freedom in each of them.
  • Corruption > Bribe Payers Index: 2008
  • Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament: Women in parliaments are the percentage of parliamentary seats in a single or lower chamber occupied by women.
  • Red tape > Start-up procedures to register a business > Number: Start-up procedures to register a business (number). Start-up procedures are those required to start a business, including interactions to obtain necessary permits and licenses and to complete all inscriptions, verifications, and notifications to start operations. Data are for businesses with specific characteristics of ownership, size, and type of production.
  • Democracy > Civil and political liberties: Civil and political liberties
    Units: Index Ranging from 7 (High Levels of Liberties) to 1 (Low
    Units: This is the average of two indicators - civil liberties and political liberties.
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in current U.S. dollars.
  • National holiday: The primary national day of celebration - often independence day.
  • Capital > Geographic coordinates: This entry is derived from Government > Capital, which gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Democracy > First female parliamentarian: Year first woman elected or appointed to parliament.
  • Time required to start a business > Days: Time required to start a business is the number of calendar days needed to complete the procedures to legally operate a business. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen.
  • Judicial branch > Judge selection and term of office: This entry is derived from Government > Judicial branch, which includes three subfields. The highest court(s) subfield includes the name(s) of a country's highest level court(s), the number and titles of the judges, and the types of cases heard by the court, which commonly are based on civil, criminal, administrative, and constitutional law. A number of countries have separate constitutional courts. The judge selection and term of office subfield includes the organizations and associated officials responsible for nominating and appointing judges, and a brief description of the process. The selection process can be indicative of the independence of a country's court system from other branches of its government. Also included in this subfield are judges' tenures, which can range from a few years, to a specified retirement age, to lifelong appointments. The subordinate courts subfield lists the courts lower in the hierarchy of a country's court system. A few countries with federal-style governments, such as Brazil, Canada, and the US, in addition to their federal court, have separate state- or province-level court systems, though generally the two systems interact.
  • Democracy and rights > Democracy Index: DI 2012.
  • Red tape > Burden of customs procedure, WEF > 1=extremely inefficient to 7=extremely efficient: Burden of customs procedure, WEF (1=extremely inefficient to 7=extremely efficient). Burden of Customs Procedure measures business executives' perceptions of their country's efficiency of customs procedures. The rating ranges from 1 to 7, with a higher score indicating greater efficiency. Data are from the World Economic Forum's Executive Opinion Survey, conducted for 30 years in collaboration with 150 partner institutes. The 2009 round included more than 13,000 respondents from 133 countries. Sampling follows a dual stratification based on company size and the sector of activity. Data are collected online or through in-person interviews. Responses are aggregated using sector-weighted averaging. The data for the latest year are combined with the data for the previous year to create a two-year moving average. Respondents evaluated the efficiency of customs procedures in their country. The lowest score (1) rates the customs procedure as extremely inefficient, and the highest score (7) as extremely efficient.
  • Red tape > Time required to register property > Days: Time required to register property (days). Time required to register property is the number of calendar days needed for businesses to secure rights to property.
  • Politics: Country politics.
  • International law organization participation: This entry includes information on a country's acceptance of jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and of the International Criminal Court (ICCt); 55 countries have accepted ICJ jurisdiction with reservations and 11 have accepted ICJ jurisdiction without reservations; 114 countries have accepted ICCt jurisdiction. Appendix B: International Organizations and Groups explains the differing mandates of the ICJ and ICCt.
  • Parliament > Seats held by men: Number of seats held by men in country's naitonal parliament or legislative houses.
  • Red tape > Time to resolve insolvency > Years: Time to resolve insolvency (years). Time to resolve insolvency is the number of years from the filing for insolvency in court until the resolution of distressed assets.
  • Red tape > Start-up procedures to register a business > Number per million: Start-up procedures to register a business (number). Start-up procedures are those required to start a business, including interactions to obtain necessary permits and licenses and to complete all inscriptions, verifications, and notifications to start operations. Data are for businesses with specific characteristics of ownership, size, and type of production. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Parliament > Seats held by women: Number of seats held by women in country's parliament or legislative houses.
  • Foreign relations > Date of recognition of Israel: Date on which Israel was officially recognized as a state. Note that some countries had a “de facto” recognition in place long before the legal recognition.
  • Democracy > Democratic institutions rating: Democratic institutions
    Units: Scale ranging from -10 (autocratic) to +10 (democratic)
  • UN membership date: Date of United Nations Membership
  • Democracy and rights > Democracy Index per million people: DI 2012. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.
  • Red tape > Procedures to build a warehouse > Number: Procedures to build a warehouse (number). Number of procedures to build a warehouse is the number of interactions of a company's employees or managers with external parties, including government agency staff, public inspectors, notaries, land registry and cadastre staff, and technical experts apart from architects and engineers.
  • Capital city: The location of the seat of government.
  • Capital > Name: This entry is derived from Government > Capital, which gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Legal origin: Legal origin identifies the origin of the Company Law or Commercial Code in each country
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ > Per capita: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in current U.S. dollars. Per capita figures expressed per 1 population.
  • Spending > Expense > Current LCU: Expense is cash payments for operating activities of the government in providing goods and services. It includes compensation of employees (such as wages and salaries), interest and subsidies, grants, social benefits, and other expenses such as rent and dividends."
  • Red tape > Time required to get electricity > Days: Time required to get electricity (days). Time required to get electricity is the number of days to obtain a permanent electricity connection. The measure captures the median duration that the electricity utility and experts indicate is necessary in practice, rather than required by law, to complete a procedure.
  • Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Registered voter turnout: The proportion of registered voters who actually voted.
  • Legislature (parliament) > People per member: Number of people each member of the legislature represents on average. The number of members of the legislature is the sum of the members of all chambers of parliament, if applicable.
  • Capital > Time difference: This entry is derived from Government > Capital, which gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • International relations: Country international relations.
  • Red tape > Time required to get electricity > Days per million: Time required to get electricity (days). Time required to get electricity is the number of days to obtain a permanent electricity connection. The measure captures the median duration that the electricity utility and experts indicate is necessary in practice, rather than required by law, to complete a procedure. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Legislature (parliament) > Lower house members: Members of the lower house of the legislature or of the only chamber in a unicameral system.
  • Democracy > Female ministers: Women in government at ministerial level in 2000 (as % of total). Data were provided by states based on their definition of national executive and may therefore include women serving as ministers and vice ministers and those holding other ministerial positions, including parliamentary secretaries.
  • Legislature (parliament) > Upper house members: Members of the upper house of the legislature. Does not include countries with a unicameral system.
  • Red tape > Time required to enforce a contract > Days: Time required to enforce a contract (days). Time required to enforce a contract is the number of calendar days from the filing of the lawsuit in court until the final determination and, in appropriate cases, payment.
  • Democracy > Female parliamentarians: Seats in parliament held by women (as % of total). Data are as of 8 March 2002. Where there are lower and upper houses, data refer to the weighted average of women's shares of seats in both houses.
  • Red tape > Procedures to register property > Number: Procedures to register property (number). Number of procedures to register property is the number of procedures required for a businesses to secure rights to property.
  • Role of head of state: Head of state.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ per capita: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in current U.S. dollars. Figures expressed per capita for the same year.
  • Start-up procedures to register a business > Number: Start-up procedures are those required to start a business, including interactions to obtain necessary permits and licenses and to complete all inscriptions, verifications, and notifications to start operations. Data are for businesses with specific characteristics of ownership, size, and type of production.
  • Strength of legal rights index > 0=weak to 10=strong: Strength of legal rights index measures the degree to which collateral and bankruptcy laws protect the rights of borrowers and lenders and thus facilitate lending. The index ranges from 0 to 10, with higher scores indicating that these laws are better designed to expand access to credit."
  • Red tape > Burden of customs procedure, WEF > 1=extremely inefficient to 7=extremely efficient per million: Burden of customs procedure, WEF (1=extremely inefficient to 7=extremely efficient). Burden of Customs Procedure measures business executives' perceptions of their country's efficiency of customs procedures. The rating ranges from 1 to 7, with a higher score indicating greater efficiency. Data are from the World Economic Forum's Executive Opinion Survey, conducted for 30 years in collaboration with 150 partner institutes. The 2009 round included more than 13,000 respondents from 133 countries. Sampling follows a dual stratification based on company size and the sector of activity. Data are collected online or through in-person interviews. Responses are aggregated using sector-weighted averaging. The data for the latest year are combined with the data for the previous year to create a two-year moving average. Respondents evaluated the efficiency of customs procedures in their country. The lowest score (1) rates the customs procedure as extremely inefficient, and the highest score (7) as extremely efficient. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Spending > Subsidies and other transfers > Current LCU: Subsidies, grants, and other social benefits include all unrequited, nonrepayable transfers on current account to private and public enterprises; grants to foreign governments, international organisations, and other government units; and social security, social assistance benefits, and employer social benefits in cash and in kind."
  • Spending > Compensation of employees > Current LCU: Compensation of employees consists of all payments in cash, as well as in kind (such as food and housing), to employees in return for services rendered, and government contributions to social insurance schemes such as social security and pensions that provide benefits to employees."
  • Legislature (parliament) > Term of office for upper house members: Members of the upper house*.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ > Per $ GDP: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in current U.S. dollars. Per $ GDP figures expressed per 1 $ gross domestic product.
  • Parliament > Seats held by women per million people: Number of seats held by women in country's parliament or legislative houses. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.
  • Democracy > Female suffrage: Year in which women received the right to vote. Data refer to the year in which right to vote or stand for election on a universal and equal basis was recognized. Where two years are shown, the first refers to the first partial recognition of the right to vote.
  • Red tape > Time required to build a warehouse > Days: Time required to build a warehouse (days). Time required to build a warehouse is the number of calendar days needed to complete the required procedures for building a warehouse. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen.
  • Foreign relations > Date of recognition of Syrian National Council: Date on which the Syrian National Council was recognized, at least as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people. For more information, please see http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Government/Foreign-relations/International-recognition-of-the-Syrian-National-Council-notes
  • Red tape > Procedures to enforce a contract > Number per million: Procedures to enforce a contract (number). Number of procedures to enforce a contract are the number of independent actions, mandated by law or courts, that demand interaction between the parties of a contract or between them and the judge or court officer. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Red tape > Time required to start a business > Days per million: Time required to start a business (days). Time required to start a business is the number of calendar days needed to complete the procedures to legally operate a business. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Red tape > Time required to register property > Days per million: Time required to register property (days). Time required to register property is the number of calendar days needed for businesses to secure rights to property. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Red tape > Procedures to build a warehouse > Number per million: Procedures to build a warehouse (number). Number of procedures to build a warehouse is the number of interactions of a company's employees or managers with external parties, including government agency staff, public inspectors, notaries, land registry and cadastre staff, and technical experts apart from architects and engineers. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Red tape > Time required to build a warehouse > Days per million: Time required to build a warehouse (days). Time required to build a warehouse is the number of calendar days needed to complete the required procedures for building a warehouse. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Capital > Daylight saving time: This entry is derived from Government > Capital, which gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Spending > Interest payments > Current LCU: Interest payments include interest payments on government debt--including long-term bonds, long-term loans, and other debt instruments--to domestic and foreign residents."
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant 2000 US$ > Per capita: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in constant 2000 U.S. dollars. Per capita figures expressed per 1 population.
  • Time required to build a warehouse > Days: Time required to build a warehouse is the number of calendar days needed to complete the required procedures for building a warehouse. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen.
  • Failed States Index: FSI 2013.
  • Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Voting age population: International IDEA has chosen to use not only the reported registration rate to calculate turnout percentages, but also the voting age population (VAP) which includes all citizens above the legal voting age
  • Democracy > Female candidacy: Year in which women received the right to stand for election. Data refer to the year in which right to vote or stand for election on a universal and equal basis was recognized. Where two years are shown, the first refers to the first partial recognition of the right to stand for election.
  • Trademarks > Nonresidents > Per capita: Trademark applications filed are applications for registration of a trademark with a national or regional trademark office. Trademarks are distinctive signs that identify goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks protect owners of the mark by ensuring exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or to authorize its use in return for payment. Per capita figures expressed per 1,000 population.
  • Trademarks > Nonresidents per 1000: Trademark applications filed are applications for registration of a trademark with a national or regional trademark office. Trademarks are distinctive signs that identify goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks protect owners of the mark by ensuring exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or to authorize its use in return for payment. Figures expressed per thousand population for the same year.
  • Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Total vote: The total number of votes cast in the relevant election. Total vote includes valid and invalid votes, as well as blank votes in cases where these are separated from invalid votes. More information on valid, invalid and blank votes can be found at aceproject.org
  • Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Voter registration: The number of registered voters. The figure represents the number of names on the voters' register at the time that the registration process closes, as reported by the electoral management body.
  • Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Turnout: The number of votes divided by the Voting Age Population figure, expressed as a percentage.
  • Time required to enforce a contract > Days: Time required to enforce a contract is the number of calendar days from the filing of the lawsuit in court until the final determination and, in appropriate cases, payment.
  • Start-up procedures to register a business > Number > Per capita: Start-up procedures are those required to start a business, including interactions to obtain necessary permits and licenses and to complete all inscriptions, verifications, and notifications to start operations. Data are for businesses with specific characteristics of ownership, size, and type of production. Per capita figures expressed per 1 million population.
  • Democracy and rights > Electoral system: Political scientist Robert A. Dahl compares the constitutions of countries which have been “steadily democratic since 1950” on the characteristic of electoral system (First Past the Post electoral system; Single-Member District Plurality, also known as First Past the Post (FPTP): There is one seat per district, the candidate with the most votes wins it; Proportional Representation: There are multiple seats for each voting district, allocation is based on either party lists, multi-member proportional (MMP), single transferable vote (STV) or semi-PR; FrenchTtwo-RoundSsystem; Alternative Vote (AV)).
  • Procedures to register property > Number: Number of procedures to register property is the number of procedures required for a businesses to secure rights to property.
  • Procedures to build a warehouse > Number: Number of procedures to build a warehouse is the number of interactions of a company's employees or managers with external parties, including government agency staff, public inspectors, notaries, land registry and cadastre staff, and technical experts apart from architects and engineers.
  • Democracy and rights > Party system: Political scientist Robert A. Dahl compares the constitutions of countries which have been “steadily democratic since 1950” on the characteristic of party system (two-party or multi-party).
  • Democracy and rights > Structure: Political scientist Robert A. Dahl compares the constitutions of countries which have been “steadily democratic since 1950” on the characteristic of structure (presidential or parliamentary).
  • Foreign relations > Recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Statements on the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia issued by countries who do not recognize their sovereignty.
  • Foreign relations > Date of recognition of Kosovo: Date on which Kosovo was officially recognized as a state.
  • Time to prepare and pay taxes > Hours: Time to prepare and pay taxes is the time, in hours per year, it takes to prepare, file, and pay (or withhold) three major types of taxes: the corporate income tax, the value added or sales tax, and labor taxes, including payroll taxes and social security contributions.
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant 2000 US$: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in constant 2000 U.S. dollars.
  • Procedures to build a warehouse > Number > Per capita: Number of procedures to build a warehouse is the number of interactions of a company's employees or managers with external parties, including government agency staff, public inspectors, notaries, land registry and cadastre staff, and technical experts apart from architects and engineers. Per capita figures expressed per 1 million population.
  • Spending > Goods and services expense > Current LCU: Goods and services include all government payments in exchange for goods and services used for the production of market and nonmarket goods and services. Own-account capital formation is excluded.
  • Red tape > Procedures to enforce a contract > Number: Procedures to enforce a contract (number). Number of procedures to enforce a contract are the number of independent actions, mandated by law or courts, that demand interaction between the parties of a contract or between them and the judge or court officer.
  • Red tape > Procedures to register property > Number per million: Procedures to register property (number). Number of procedures to register property is the number of procedures required for a businesses to secure rights to property. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant LCU: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in constant local currency.
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant 2000 US$ per capita: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in constant 2000 U.S. dollars. Figures expressed per capita for the same year.
  • Trademarks > Residents > Per capita: Trademark applications filed are applications for registration of a trademark with a national or regional trademark office. Trademarks are distinctive signs that identify goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks protect owners of the mark by ensuring exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or to authorize its use in return for payment. Per capita figures expressed per 1,000 population.
  • Spending > Interest payments > % of expense: Interest payments include interest payments on government debt--including long-term bonds, long-term loans, and other debt instruments--to domestic and foreign residents."
  • Spending > Other expense > % of expense: Other expense is spending on dividends, rent, and other miscellaneous expenses, including provision for consumption of fixed capital."
  • Spending > Other expense > Current LCU: Other expense is spending on dividends, rent, and other miscellaneous expenses, including provision for consumption of fixed capital."
  • Time to resolve insolvency > Years: Time to resolve insolvency is the number of years from the filing for insolvency in court until the resolution of distressed assets.
  • Trademarks > Residents per million: Trademark applications filed are applications for registration of a trademark with a national or regional trademark office. Trademarks are distinctive signs that identify goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks protect owners of the mark by ensuring exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or to authorize its use in return for payment. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Procedures to register property > Number per million: Number of procedures to register property is the number of procedures required for a businesses to secure rights to property. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Procedures to build a warehouse > Number per million: Number of procedures to build a warehouse is the number of interactions of a company's employees or managers with external parties, including government agency staff, public inspectors, notaries, land registry and cadastre staff, and technical experts apart from architects and engineers. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Annual % growth: Annual percentage growth of general government final consumption expenditure based on constant local currency. Aggregates are based on constant 2000 U.S. dollars. General government final consumption expenditure (general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation.
  • Time required to register property > Days: Time required to register property is the number of calendar days needed for businesses to secure rights to property.
  • Trademarks > Nonresidents: Trademark applications filed are applications for registration of a trademark with a national or regional trademark office. Trademarks are distinctive signs that identify goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks protect owners of the mark by ensuring exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or to authorize its use in return for payment.
  • Procedures to enforce a contract > Number per million: Number of procedures to enforce a contract are the number of independent actions, mandated by law or courts, that demand interaction between the parties of a contract or between them and the judge or court officer. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Parliament > Seats held by men per million people: Number of seats held by men in country's naitonal parliament or legislative houses. Figures expressed per million people for the same year.
  • Foreign relations > Date of establishment of relations with China: The date on which each country established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China.
  • Democracy and rights > Next election: Next election.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Spending > Subsidies and other transfers > % of expense: Subsidies, grants, and other social benefits include all unrequited, nonrepayable transfers on current account to private and public enterprises; grants to foreign governments, international organisations, and other government units; and social security, social assistance benefits, and employer social benefits in cash and in kind."
  • Start-up procedures to register a business > Number per million: Start-up procedures are those required to start a business, including interactions to obtain necessary permits and licenses and to complete all inscriptions, verifications, and notifications to start operations. Data are for businesses with specific characteristics of ownership, size, and type of production. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments > %: Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments (%). Women in parliaments are the percentage of parliamentary seats in a single or lower chamber held by women.
  • Spending > Expense > % of GDP: Expense is cash payments for operating activities of the government in providing goods and services. It includes compensation of employees (such as wages and salaries), interest and subsidies, grants, social benefits, and other expenses such as rent and dividends."
  • Spending > Compensation of employees > % of expense: Compensation of employees consists of all payments in cash, as well as in kind (such as food and housing), to employees in return for services rendered, and government contributions to social insurance schemes such as social security and pensions that provide benefits to employees."
  • Spending > Interest payments > % of revenue: Interest payments include interest payments on government debt--including long-term bonds, long-term loans, and other debt instruments--to domestic and foreign residents."
  • Democracy and rights > Last election: Last election.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Democracy and rights > Strong judicial review?: Political scientist Robert A. Dahl compares the constitutions of countries which have been “steadily democratic since 1950” on the characteristic of judicial review, which is the power to declare unconstitutional laws duly passed by parliament and/or signed by the president. (As distinct from the ability to strike down acts of subordinate governments, such as states or provinces. (Strong judicial review or no strong judicial review).
  • Democracy and rights > Strongly federal?: Political scientist Robert A. Dahl compares the constitutions of countries which have been “steadily democratic since 1950” on the characteristic of federalism (strongly federal or not strongly federal).
  • Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Voting age population per 1000: International IDEA has chosen to use not only the reported registration rate to calculate turnout percentages, but also the voting age population (VAP) which includes all citizens above the legal voting age. Figures expressed per thousand population for the same year.
  • Procedures to enforce a contract > Number: Number of procedures to enforce a contract are the number of independent actions, mandated by law or courts, that demand interaction between the parties of a contract or between them and the judge or court officer.
  • Foreign relations > International recognition of the Syrian National Council notes:

    Degree to which the Syrian National Council is recognized as a legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

  • Democracy and rights > Active Labor party: Party.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Legislature (parliament) > Total members of parliament: Number of members of the legislature (sum of members of all chambers of parliament where applicable).
  • Legislature (parliament) > Strongly bicameral?: Political scientist Robert A. Dahl compares the constitutions of countries which have been “steadily democratic since 1950” on the characteristic of bicameralism, determing if there are two houses in the legislature, both with substantial powers. (Strongly bicameral or not strongly bicameral).
  • General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current LCU: General government final consumption expenditure (formerly general government consumption) includes all government current expenditures for purchases of goods and services (including compensation of employees). It also includes most expenditures on national defense and security, but excludes government military expenditures that are part of government capital formation. Data are in current local currency.
  • Legislature (parliament) > Term of office for lower house members: Members of the lower (or sole) house.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

  • Red tape > Time required to enforce a contract > Days per million: Time required to enforce a contract (days). Time required to enforce a contract is the number of calendar days from the filing of the lawsuit in court until the final determination and, in appropriate cases, payment. Figures expressed per million population for the same year.
  • Trademarks > Residents: Trademark applications filed are applications for registration of a trademark with a national or regional trademark office. Trademarks are distinctive signs that identify goods or services as those produced or provided by a specific person or enterprise. Trademarks protect owners of the mark by ensuring exclusive right to use it to identify goods or services or to authorize its use in return for payment.
  • Procedures to register property > Number > Per capita: Number of procedures to register property is the number of procedures required for a businesses to secure rights to property. Per capita figures expressed per 1 million population.
  • Procedures to enforce a contract > Number > Per capita: Number of procedures to enforce a contract are the number of independent actions, mandated by law or courts, that demand interaction between the parties of a contract or between them and the judge or court officer. Per capita figures expressed per 1 million population.
  • Capital city > Time difference: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
  • Spending > Goods and services expense > % of expense: Goods and services include all government payments in exchange for goods and services used for the production of market and nonmarket goods and services. Own-account capital formation is excluded.
  • Ruling party: In power now.

    No date was available from the Wikipedia article, so we used the date of retrieval.

STAT Belgium United States HISTORY
Administrative divisions 3 regions (French: regions, singular - region; Dutch: gewesten, singular - gewest); Brussels-Capital Region, also known as Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (Dutch), Region de Bruxelles-Capitale (French long form), Bruxelles-Capitale (French short form); Flemish Region (Flanders), also known as Vlaams Gewest (Dutch long form), Vlaanderen (Dutch short form), Region Flamande (French long form), Flandre (French short form); Walloon Region (Wallonia), also known as Region Wallone (French long form), Wallonie (French short form), Waals Gewest (Dutch long form), Wallonie (Dutch short form) 50 states and 1 district*; Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia*, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Capital city > Geographic coordinates 50 38 53 N, 77 02 W
Capital city > Name Brussels Washington, DC
Constitution drafted 25 November 1830, approved 7 February 1831, entered into force 26 July 1831, revised 14 July 1993 (creating a federal state); amended many times, last in 2012 previous 1781 (Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union); latest drafted July - September 1787, submitted to the Congress of the Confederation 20 September 1787, submitted for states' ratification 28 September 1787, ratification completed by nine sta
Executive branch > Cabinet Council of Ministers are formally appointed by the monarch Cabinet appointed by the president with Senate approval
Executive branch > Chief of state King PHILIPPE (since 21 August 2013); Heir Apparent Princess ELISABETH, daughter of the monarch President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
Executive branch > Head of government Prime Minister Elio DI RUPO (since 6 December 2011); Deputy Prime Minister Alexander DE CROO (since 22 October 2012); Joelle MILQUET (since 20 March 2008); Laurette ONKELINX (since 30 December 2008); Didier REYNDERS (since 30 December 2008); Pieter DE CREM (since 5 March 2013) President Barack H. OBAMA (since 20 January 2009); Vice President Joseph R. BIDEN (since 20 January 2009)
Government type federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy Constitution-based federal republic; strong democratic tradition
International organization participation ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-9, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), ANZUS, APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CE (observer), CERN (observer), CICA (observer), CP, EAPC, EAS, EBRD, EITI (implementing country), FAO, FATF, G-20, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAFTA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), SAARC (observer), SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), SPC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNSC (permanent), UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Judicial branch Constitutional Court (12 judges, 6 Dutch-speaking and 6 French-speaking, appointed by the King); Supreme Court of Justice or Hof van Cassatie (in Dutch) or Cour de Cassation (in French) (judges are appointed for life by the government; candidacies have to be submitted by the High Justice Council) Supreme Court (nine justices; nominated by the president and confirmed with the advice and consent of the Senate; appointed to serve for life); United States Courts of Appeal; United States District Courts; State and County Courts
Legal system civil law system based on the French Civil Code common law system based on English common law at the federal level; state legal systems based on common law except Louisiana, which is based on Napoleonic civil code; judicial review of legislative acts
Legislative branch bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate or Senaat in Dutch, Senat in French bicameral Congress consists of the Senate
Political parties and leaders <strong>Flemish parties: </strong><br />Christian Democratic and Flemish or CD&V [Wouter BEKE]<br />Flemish Liberals and Democrats or Open VLD [Gwendolyn RUTTEN]<br />Groen! [Wouter VAN BESIEN] (formerly AGALEV, Flemish Greens)<br />Libertarian, Direct, Democratic or LDD (formerly Dedecker's List) [Jean-Marie DEDECKER]<br />New Flemish Alliance or N-VA [Bart DE WEVER]<br />Social Progressive Alternative or SP.A [Bruno TOBBACK]<br />Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) or VB [Gerolf ANNEMANS]<br /><strong>Francophone parties:</strong><br />Ecolo (Francophone Greens) [Olivier DELEUZE, Emily HOYOS]<br />Humanist and Democratic Center or CDH [Benoit LUTGEN]<br />Popular Party or PP [ Mischael MODRIKAMEN]<br />Reform Movement or MR [Charles MICHEL]<br />Socialist Party or PS [Paul MAGNETTE]<br />other minor parties Democratic Party [Debbie Wasserman SCHULTZ]<br />Green Party<br />Libertarian Party [Mark HINKLE]<br />Republican Party [Reince PRIEBUS]
Political pressure groups and leaders Federation of Belgian Industries<br /><strong>other:</strong> trade unions; numerous other associations representing bankers, manufacturers, middle-class artisans, and the legal and medical professions; various organizations represent the cultural interests of Flanders and Wallonia; various peace groups such as Pax Christi and groups representing immigrants environmentalists; business groups; labor unions; churches; ethnic groups; political action committees or PACs; health groups; education groups; civic groups; youth groups; transportation groups; agricultural groups; veterans groups; women's groups; reform lobbies
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal and compulsory 18 years of age; universal
Country name > Conventional long form Kingdom of Belgium United States of America
Executive branch > Elections the monarchy is hereditary and constitutional; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch and then approved by parliament president and vice president elected on the same ticket by a college of representatives who are elected directly from each state; president and vice president serve four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 8 November 2016)
National symbol(s) lion bald eagle
Flag description three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red; the vertical design was based on the flag of France; the colors are those of the arms of the duchy of Brabant (yellow lion with red claws and tongue on a black field) 13 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; the blue stands for loyalty, devotion, truth, justice, and friendship; red symbolizes courage, zeal, and fervency, while white denotes purity and rectitude of conduct; commonly referred to by its nickname of Old Glory
Red tape > Time required to start a business > Days 4
Ranked 178th.
5
Ranked 170th. 25% more than Belgium

Country name > Conventional short form Belgium United States
Constitutional form Constitutional monarchy Republic
Transnational Issues > Disputes > International none the US has intensified domestic security measures and is collaborating closely with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, to monitor and control legal and illegal personnel, transport, and commodities across the international borders; abundant rainfall in recent years along much of the Mexico-US border region has ameliorated periodically strained water-sharing arrangements; 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement in the Bering Sea still awaits Russian Duma ratification; Canada and the United States dispute how to divide the Beaufort Sea and the status of the Northwest Passage but continue to work cooperatively to survey the Arctic continental shelf; The Bahamas and US have not been able to agree on a maritime boundary; US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay is leased from Cuba and only mutual agreement or US abandonment of the area can terminate the lease; Haiti claims US-administered Navassa Island; US has made no territorial claim in Antarctica (but has reserved the right to do so) and does not recognize the claims of any other states; Marshall Islands claims Wake Island; Tokelau included American Samoa's Swains Island among the islands listed in its 2006 draft constitution
National anthem <strong>name: </strong>"La Brabanconne" (The Song of Brabant)<br /><strong>lyrics/music:</strong> Louis-Alexandre DECHET[French] Victor CEULEMANS [Dutch]/Francois VAN CAMPENHOUT <strong>name: </strong>"The Star-Spangled Banner"<br /><strong>lyrics/music:</strong> Francis Scott KEY/John Stafford SMITH
Legislative branch > Elections Senate and Chamber of Deputies - last held on 13 June 2010 (next to be held no later than June 2014) Senate - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 4 November 2014); House of Representatives - last held on 6 November 2012 (next to be held on 4 November 2014)
Legislative branch > Election results Senate - percent of vote by party - N-VA 19.6%, PS 13.6%, CD&V 10%, SP.A 9.5%, MR 9.3%, Open VLD 8.2%, VB 7.6%, Ecolo 5.5%, CDH 5.1% Groen! 3.9%, other 7.7%; seats by party - N-VA 9, PS 7, CD&V 4, SP.A 4, MR 4, Open VLD 4, VB 3, Ecolo 2, CDH 2, Groen! 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - N-VA 17.4%, PS 13.7%, CD&V 10.9%, MR 9.3%, SP.A 9.2%, Open VLD 8.6%, VB 7.8%, CDH 5.5%, Ecolo 4.8%, Groen! 4.4%, List Dedecker 2.3%, the Popular Party 1.3%, other 4.8%; seats by party - N-VA 27, PS 26, CD&V 17, MR 18, sp.a 13, Open VLD 13, VB 12, CDH 9, Ecolo 8, Groen! 5, List Dedecker 1, the Popular Party 1 Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 54, Republican Party 45, independent 1; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 201, Republican Party 234
Democracy and rights > Press freedom index 12.94
Ranked 19th.
18.22
Ranked 13th. 41% more than Belgium
Parliament > Seats held by women > Percentage 38%
Ranked 17th. 2 times more than United States
17.78%
Ranked 91st.

Independence 4 October 1830 (a provisional government declared independence from the Netherlands); 21 July 1831 (King LEOPOLD I ascended to the throne) 4 July 1776 (declared); 3 September 1783 (recognized by Great Britain)
Judicial branch > Subordinate courts Courts of Appeal; regional courts; specialized courts for administrative, commercial, labor, and audit issues; magistrate's courts; justices of the peace Courts of Appeal (includes the US Court of Appeal for the Federal District and 12 regional appeals courts); 94 federal district courts in 50 states and territories
Basis of executive legitimacy Ministry is subject to parliamentary confidence Presidency is independent of legislature
Transnational Issues > Illicit drugs growing producer of synthetic drugs and cannabis; transit point for US-bound ecstasy; source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for cocaine, heroin, hashish, and marijuana entering Western Europe; despite a strengthening of legislation, the country remains vulnerable to money laundering related to narcotics, automobiles, alcohol, and tobacco; significant domestic consumption of ecstasy world's largest consumer of cocaine (shipped from Colombia through Mexico and the Caribbean), Colombian heroin, and Mexican heroin and marijuana; major consumer of ecstasy and Mexican methamphetamine; minor consumer of high-quality Southeast Asian heroin; illicit producer of cannabis, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine; money-laundering center
Democracy and rights > Freedom of the press 11
Ranked 191st.
18
Ranked 171st. 64% more than Belgium
Corruption > Bribe Payers Index 8.8
Ranked 2nd. 9% more than United States
8.1
Ranked 8th.
Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament 34.7%
Ranked 12th. 2 times more than United States
15.2%
Ranked 79th.

Red tape > Start-up procedures to register a business > Number 3
Ranked 170th.
6
Ranked 103th. Twice as much as Belgium

Democracy > Civil and political liberties 5.5
Ranked 18th.
6
Ranked 6th. 9% more than Belgium
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ 85.52 billion$
Ranked 14th.
1.84 trillion$
Ranked 1st. 22 times more than Belgium

National holiday 21 July (1831) ascension to the Throne of King LEOPOLD I Independence Day, 4 July (1776)
Capital > Geographic coordinates 50 50 N, 4 20 E 38 53 N, 77 02 W
Democracy > First female parliamentarian 1921 (appointed) 1917 (elected)
Time required to start a business > Days 27 days
Ranked 110th. 5 times more than United States
5 days
Ranked 167th.

Democracy > Gender Parity Index in primary level enrolment 0.993
Ranked 49th. About the same as United States
0.991
Ranked 52nd.

Judicial branch > Judge selection and term of office Constitutional Court judges appointed by the monarch from candidates submitted by Parliament; judges appointed for life with mandatory retirement at age 70; Supreme Court judges appointed by the monarch from candidates submitted by the High Council of Justice, a 44-member independent body of judicial and non-judicial members; judges appointed for life president nominates, and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints Supreme Court justices; justices appointed for life
Democracy and rights > Democracy Index 8.05
Ranked 20th.
8.11
Ranked 18th. 1% more than Belgium
Red tape > Burden of customs procedure, WEF > 1=extremely inefficient to 7=extremely efficient 4.9
Ranked 26th. 9% more than United States
4.5
Ranked 43th.

Red tape > Time required to register property > Days 64
Ranked 45th. 5 times more than United States
12
Ranked 158th.

Politics Socialist PM Elio di Rupo, a French speaker, was appointed in late 2011 to lead a six-party coalition after 18 months of negotiations Barack Obama, America&#039;s first black president, was re-elected in November 2012
International law organization participation accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction withdrew acceptance of compulsory ICJ jurisdiction in 2005; withdrew acceptance of ICCt jurisdiction in 2002
Parliament > Seats held by men 93
Ranked 104th.
356
Ranked 21st. 4 times more than Belgium

Red tape > Time to resolve insolvency > Years 0.9
Ranked 164th.
1.5
Ranked 144th. 67% more than Belgium

Red tape > Start-up procedures to register a business > Number per million 0.269
Ranked 140th. 14 times more than United States
0.0191
Ranked 185th.

Parliament > Seats held by women 57
Ranked 46th.
77
Ranked 27th. 35% more than Belgium

Foreign relations > Date of recognition of Israel None
None
Democracy > Democratic institutions rating 10
Ranked 5th. The same as United States
10
Ranked 9th.
UN membership date 27 Dec. 1945 24 Oct. 1945
Democracy and rights > Democracy Index per million people 0.722
Ranked 17th. 28 times more than United States
0.0258
Ranked 34th.
Red tape > Procedures to build a warehouse > Number 13
Ranked 101st.
16
Ranked 60th. 23% more than Belgium

Capital city Brussels Washington, DC
Capital > Name Brussels Washington, DC
Legal origin <a href=/country/fr>French</a> <a href=/encyclopedia/England>English</a>
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ > Per capita 8,161.06$ per capita
Ranked 9th. 30% more than United States
6,281.51$ per capita
Ranked 14th.

Spending > Expense > Current LCU 146.39 billion
Ranked 49th.
3.7 trillion
Ranked 1st. 25 times more than Belgium

Red tape > Time required to get electricity > Days 88
Ranked 97th. 47% more than United States
60
Ranked 144th.

Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Registered voter turnout 90.6%
Ranked 15th. 42% more than United States
63.8%
Ranked 101st.
Legislature (parliament) > People per member 48,663
Ranked 59th.
575,019
Ranked 3rd. 12 times more than Belgium
Capital > Time difference UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time) UTC-5 (during Standard Time)
International relations Brussels is the home of the EU and Nato The US has a leading role on the world stage, militarily and diplomatically. Its combat troops are set to leave Afghanistan by late 2014
Red tape > Time required to get electricity > Days per million 7.9
Ranked 108th. 41 times more than United States
0.191
Ranked 186th.

Legislature (parliament) > Lower house members 150
Ranked 61st.
435
Ranked 25th. 3 times more than Belgium
Democracy > Female ministers 55%
Ranked 1st. 8 times more than United States
7.1%
Ranked 92nd.
Legislature (parliament) > Upper house members 71
Ranked 33th.
100
Ranked 24th. 41% more than Belgium
Red tape > Time required to enforce a contract > Days 505
Ranked 114th. 36% more than United States
370
Ranked 164th.

Democracy > Female parliamentarians 24.9%
Ranked 20th. 80% more than United States
13.8%
Ranked 60th.
Red tape > Procedures to register property > Number 8
Ranked 27th. Twice as much as United States
4
Ranked 145th.

Role of head of state Ceremonial Executive
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ per capita 8,161.08$
Ranked 8th. 30% more than United States
6,299.75$
Ranked 14th.

Start-up procedures to register a business > Number 4
Ranked 160th.
5
Ranked 154th. 25% more than Belgium

Strength of legal rights index > 0=weak to 10=strong 7
Ranked 44th.
8
Ranked 27th. 14% more than Belgium

Red tape > Burden of customs procedure, WEF > 1=extremely inefficient to 7=extremely efficient per million 0.44
Ranked 72nd. 31 times more than United States
0.0143
Ranked 141st.

Spending > Subsidies and other transfers > Current LCU 118.09 billion
Ranked 39th.
2.56 trillion
Ranked 1st. 22 times more than Belgium

Spending > Compensation of employees > Current LCU 9.84 billion
Ranked 62nd.
399.42 billion
Ranked 14th. 41 times more than Belgium

Legislature (parliament) > Term of office for upper house members 5
Ranked 36th.
6
Ranked 17th. 20% more than Belgium
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current US$ > Per $ GDP 0.231$ per $1 of GDP
Ranked 20th. 46% more than United States
0.158$ per $1 of GDP
Ranked 76th.

Parliament > Seats held by women per million people 5.46
Ranked 64th. 22 times more than United States
0.243
Ranked 175th.

Foreign relations > Nepal > Date of Establishment August 19, 1963 April 25, 1947
Democracy > Female suffrage "1919 ,1948" "1920 ,1960"
Red tape > Time required to build a warehouse > Days 214
Ranked 42nd. 2 times more than United States
91
Ranked 157th.

Foreign relations > Date of recognition of Syrian National Council Verbal support Informal relations Recognised on 5 December 2011 (as legitimate representative)
Red tape > Procedures to enforce a contract > Number per million 2.33
Ranked 124th. 23 times more than United States
0.102
Ranked 185th.

Red tape > Time required to start a business > Days per million 0.359
Ranked 157th. 23 times more than United States
0.0159
Ranked 188th.

Red tape > Time required to register property > Days per million 5.74
Ranked 79th. 150 times more than United States
0.0382
Ranked 181st.

Red tape > Procedures to build a warehouse > Number per million 1.17
Ranked 112th. 23 times more than United States
0.051
Ranked 182nd.

Red tape > Time required to build a warehouse > Days per million 19.21
Ranked 93th. 66 times more than United States
0.29
Ranked 183th.

Capital > Daylight saving time +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October +1hr, begins second Sunday in March; ends first Sunday in November
Spending > Interest payments > Current LCU 12.18 billion
Ranked 41st.
270.49 billion
Ranked 1st. 22 times more than Belgium

General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant 2000 US$ > Per capita 5,291.42 constant 2000 US$ per c
Ranked 10th.
5,464.23 constant 2000 US$ per c
Ranked 8th. 3% more than Belgium

Time required to build a warehouse > Days 184 days
Ranked 84th. 3 times more than United States
69 days
Ranked 164th.

Failed States Index 30.9
Ranked 19th.
33.5
Ranked 14th. 8% more than Belgium
Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Voting age population 8 million
Ranked 48th.
213.95 million
Ranked 2nd. 27 times more than Belgium
Democracy > Female candidacy 1,921
Ranked 130th. 7% more than United States
1,788
Ranked 161st.
Trademarks > Nonresidents > Per capita 1.03 per 1,000 people
Ranked 12th. 11 times more than United States
0.092 per 1,000 people
Ranked 35th.

Trademarks > Nonresidents per 1000 1.04
Ranked 15th. 11 times more than United States
0.0922
Ranked 35th.

Foreign relations > Croatia > Date of Establishment March 10, 1992 August 11, 1992
National anthem > Name "La Brabanconne" (The Song of Brabant) "The Star-Spangled Banner"
Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Total vote 6.65 million
Ranked 39th.
99.74 million
Ranked 3rd. 15 times more than Belgium
Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Voter registration 7.34 million
Ranked 48th.
156.42 million
Ranked 2nd. 21 times more than Belgium
Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Turnout 83.2
Ranked 26th. 79% more than United States
46.6
Ranked 93th.
Time required to enforce a contract > Days 328 days
Ranked 131st. 9% more than United States
300 days
Ranked 136th.

Start-up procedures to register a business > Number > Per capita 0.381 per 1 million people
Ranked 127th. 22 times more than United States
0.017 per 1 million people
Ranked 168th.

Democracy and rights > Electoral system PR (list) FPTP
Procedures to register property > Number 7
Ranked 50th. 75% more than United States
4
Ranked 131st.

Procedures to build a warehouse > Number 15
Ranked 103th.
18
Ranked 67th. 20% more than Belgium

Democracy and rights > Party system Multi Two
Democracy and rights > Structure Parliamentary Presidential
Foreign relations > Recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia Belgian foreign minister Karel De Gucht called the recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia unacceptable and a violation of the territorial integrity of Georgia. He added that Russia has created a dangerous precedent that threatens the stability of Europe. President George W. Bush condemned the actions taken by Russia and called on them to "reconsider this irresponsible decision." Bush then stated that in "accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolutions that remain in force, Abkhazia and South Ossetia are within the internationally recognised borders of Georgia, and they must remain so." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice also said the decision made by Russia was "regrettable" and further stated that since "the United States is a permanent member of the Security Council this simply will be dead on arrival in the Security Council." United States President George W. Bush acknowledged the ceasefire accord brokered by the French President and President of the European Council , Nicolas Sarkozy . The accord was signed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on 12 August 2008 Cite error: There are &lt;ref&gt; tags on this page, but the references will not show without a &#123;&#123;reflist&#125;&#125; template (see the help page ).
Foreign relations > Date of recognition of Kosovo None
None
Time to prepare and pay taxes > Hours 160 hours
Ranked 119th.
325 hours
Ranked 54th. 2 times more than Belgium

General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant 2000 US$ 55.45 billion constant 2000 US$
Ranked 13th.
1.6 trillion constant 2000 US$
Ranked 1st. 29 times more than Belgium

Procedures to build a warehouse > Number > Per capita 1.43 per 1 million people
Ranked 102nd. 24 times more than United States
0.06 per 1 million people
Ranked 165th.

Spending > Goods and services expense > Current LCU 3.88 billion
Ranked 69th.
518.29 billion
Ranked 9th. 133 times more than Belgium

National anthem > Note adopted 1830; Louis-Alexandre DECHET was an actor at the theater in which the revolution against the Netherlands began; according to legend, he wrote the lyrics with a group of young people in a Brussels cafe adopted 1931; during the War of 1812, after witnessing the successful American defense of Fort McHenry in Baltimore following British naval bombardment, Francis Scott KEY wrote the lyrics to what would become the national anthem; the lyrics were set to the tune of "The Anacreontic Song;" only the first verse is sung
Red tape > Procedures to enforce a contract > Number 26
Ranked 182nd.
32
Ranked 154th. 23% more than Belgium

Red tape > Procedures to register property > Number per million 0.718
Ranked 86th. 56 times more than United States
0.0127
Ranked 181st.

General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant LCU 60182100000 1604600000000
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Constant 2000 US$ per capita 5,291.44 constant 2000 US$
Ranked 9th.
5,480.09 constant 2000 US$
Ranked 8th. 4% more than Belgium

Trademarks > Residents > Per capita 2.03 per 1,000 people
Ranked 2nd. 3 times more than United States
0.727 per 1,000 people
Ranked 18th.

Spending > Interest payments > % of expense 8.32%
Ranked 28th. 14% more than United States
7.31%
Ranked 3rd.

Spending > Other expense > % of expense 2.32%
Ranked 72nd.
26.91%
Ranked 1st. 12 times more than Belgium

Spending > Other expense > Current LCU 3.39 billion
Ranked 53th.
995.12 billion
Ranked 1st. 293 times more than Belgium

Time to resolve insolvency > Years 0.9 years
Ranked 144th.
1.5 years
Ranked 127th. 67% more than Belgium

Trademarks > Residents per million 2,033.33
Ranked 5th. 3 times more than United States
729.14
Ranked 18th.

Procedures to register property > Number per million 0.664
Ranked 78th. 50 times more than United States
0.0134
Ranked 163th.

Procedures to build a warehouse > Number per million 1.42
Ranked 101st. 24 times more than United States
0.0603
Ranked 164th.

General government final > Consumption expenditure > Annual % growth 1.46%
Ranked 82nd.
2.5%
Ranked 70th. 71% more than Belgium

Time required to register property > Days 132 days
Ranked 32nd. 11 times more than United States
12 days
Ranked 145th.

Trademarks > Nonresidents 10,695
Ranked 13th.
26,988
Ranked 2nd. 3 times more than Belgium

Procedures to enforce a contract > Number per million 2.56
Ranked 101st. 45 times more than United States
0.057
Ranked 166th.

Parliament > Seats held by men per million people 8.9
Ranked 124th. 8 times more than United States
1.12
Ranked 185th.

Foreign relations > Date of establishment of relations with China October 25, 1971 January 1, 1979
Democracy and rights > Next election May 2014 November 2016
Spending > Subsidies and other transfers > % of expense 80.67%
Ranked 2nd. 17% more than United States
69.14%
Ranked 1st.

Start-up procedures to register a business > Number per million 0.379
Ranked 126th. 23 times more than United States
0.0168
Ranked 167th.

Proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments > % 38%
Ranked 18th. 2 times more than United States
17.9%
Ranked 97th.

Spending > Expense > % of GDP 42.47%
Ranked 9th. 64% more than United States
25.94%
Ranked 2nd.

Spending > Compensation of employees > % of expense 6.72%
Ranked 85th.
12.08%
Ranked 75th. 80% more than Belgium

Spending > Interest payments > % of revenue 8.54%
Ranked 27th.
11.93%
Ranked 1st. 40% more than Belgium

Democracy and rights > Last election June 2010 November 2012
Democracy and rights > Strong judicial review? No Yes
Democracy and rights > Strongly federal? Yes (since 1993) Yes
Democracy > Parliamentary elections > Voting age population per 1000 770.96
Ranked 24th. 5% more than United States
737.5
Ranked 40th.
Procedures to enforce a contract > Number 27
Ranked 116th. 59% more than United States
17
Ranked 164th.

Foreign relations > International recognition of the Syrian National Council notes A group of Belgian Foreign Ministry officials, headed by Foreign Minister Didier Reynders met with a delegation of the Syrian National Council on 5 January 2012. At the meeting, Reynders informed the delegates that he would to refer the SNC requests for the establishment of a European assistance fund for the Syrian people to the European Union, and would work to "support the SNC's goals until they become a reality on the ground." The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton , deemed the Syrian National Council as a \u201cleading and legitimate representative of Syrians seeking a peaceful democratic transition,\u201d and that the United States was \u201ccommitted to helping... make this transition.\u201d
Democracy and rights > Active Labor party Workers' Party of Belgium [[christelijke ACV}]] Socialist Labor Party of America Labor Party (United States, 1996) Minnesota Democratic\u2013Farmer\u2013Labor Party
Legislature (parliament) > Total members of parliament 221
Ranked 54th.
535
Ranked 25th. 2 times more than Belgium
Legislature (parliament) > Strongly bicameral? No Yes
General government final > Consumption expenditure > Current LCU 68764100000 1844600000000
Legislature (parliament) > Term of office for lower house members 4
Ranked 116th. Twice as much as United States
2
Ranked 183th.
Red tape > Time required to enforce a contract > Days per million 45.32
Ranked 113th. 38 times more than United States
1.18
Ranked 185th.

Trademarks > Residents 21,010
Ranked 15th.
213,495
Ranked 2nd. 10 times more than Belgium

Procedures to register property > Number > Per capita 0.668 per 1 million people
Ranked 79th. 51 times more than United States
0.013 per 1 million people
Ranked 164th.

Procedures to enforce a contract > Number > Per capita 2.58 per 1 million people
Ranked 101st. 45 times more than United States
0.057 per 1 million people
Ranked 167th.

Capital city > Time difference 1 UTC-5 (during Standard Time)
Spending > Goods and services expense > % of expense 2.65%
Ranked 87th.
15.67%
Ranked 32nd. 6 times more than Belgium

Ruling party Socialist / CDV Democratic

SOURCES: CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 28 March 2011; CIA World Factbooks 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013; World Bank, Doing Business project (http://www.doingbusiness.org/).; Wikipedia: List of countries by system of government (Alphabetical list of countries); All CIA World Factbooks 18 December 2003 to 18 December 2008; Wikipedia: Censorship by country (Censorship by country) ("Press Freedom Index 2013" , Reporters Without Borders, 30 January 2013); United Nations Statistics Division; "2012 Freedom of the Press Data" , Freedom House, 1 May 2012; Wikipedia: Bribe Payers Index; World Development Indicators database; Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2000-2001, New York: Freedom House, 2001; IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 1995. Women in Parliaments 1945-1995: A World Statistical Survey. Geneva and IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 2001. Correspondence on year women received the right to vote and to stand for election and year first woman was elected or appointed to parliament. March. Geneva.; Source: Millennium Development Goals Database | United Nations Statistics Division; Wikipedia: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Indicators) ("Democracy Index 2012" (PDF). The Economist. March 2013 . Retrieved 2013-03-21 .); World Economic Forum, Global Competiveness Report and data files.; British Broadcasting Corporation 2014; United Nations Statistics Division. Source tables; World Bank, Doing Business project (http://www.doingbusiness.org/). Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; United Nations Statistics Division. Source tables; Wikipedia: International recognition of Israel (UN member states); Polity IV Project, University of Maryland, at Polity IV Project; United Nations World Statistics Pocketbook and Statistical Yearbook; Wikipedia: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Indicators) ("Democracy Index 2012" (PDF). The Economist. March 2013 . Retrieved 2013-03-21 .). Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; CIA World Factbook, 28 July 2005; International Monetary Fund, Government Finance Statistics Yearbook and data files.; Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance 2003; Wikipedia: List of legislatures by number of members; IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 2001. Correspondence on women in government at the ministerial level. March. Geneva; calculated on the basis of data on parliamentary seats from IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 2002. Parline Database. March 2002; World Development Indicators database. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; World Economic Forum, Global Competiveness Report and data files. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; Wikipedia: Term of office (Terms of office by country); United Nations Statistics Division. Source tables. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; Wikipedia: Foreign relations of Nepal; IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 1995. Women in Parliaments 1945-1995: A World Statistical Survey. Geneva and IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union). 2001. Correspondence on year women received the right to vote and to stand for election and year first woman was elected or appointed to parliament. March. Geneva; Wikipedia: International recognition of the Syrian National Council (UN member states); Wikipedia: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Indicators) ("The Failed States Index 2013" . The Fund for Peace . July 2013 . Retrieved 2013-07-20 .); Wikipedia: Foreign relations of Croatia; How Democratic is the American Constitution? Robert A. Dahl.2001. ISBN 0-300-09218-0. Table 1.; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_recognition_of_Abkhazia_and_South_Ossetia#States_that_do_not_recognise_Abkhazia_or_South_Ossetia_as_independent; Wikipedia: International recognition of Kosovo (United Nations member states); United Nations Statistics Division. Source tables. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dates_of_establishment_of_diplomatic_relations_with_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China; Wikipedia: List of next general elections (Africa); Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) (www.ipu.org); International Monetary Fund, Government Finance Statistics Yearbook and data files, and World Bank and OECD GDP estimates.; Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance 2003. Population figures from World Bank: (1) United Nations Population Division. World Population Prospects, (2) United Nations Statistical Division. Population and Vital Statistics Report (various years), (3) Census reports and other statistical publications from national statistical offices, (4) Eurostat: Demographic Statistics, (5) Secretariat of the Pacific Community: Statistics and Demography Programme, and (6) U.S. Census Bureau: International Database.; Wikipedia: List of Labour Parties (Active Labor parties)

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