Belgium has a total of 31,800 politicians, administrators, and cabinet members across all levels of government. This large number is primarily due to the higher

concentration of political staff in French-speaking regions of the country, according to a new study.

After Luxembourg and Portugal, Belgium ranks third in Europe for the number of MPs per million inhabitants. The country has six regional and community parliaments (seven, including the German-speaking Community), comprising an impressive total of 592 MPs, which equates to 51 MPs per million citizens. Additionally, Belgium has 54 ministers supported by 2,000 cabinet members, 13,300 municipal councillors, and 9,580 directors of intercommunal companies—associations of municipalities tasked with carrying out common interest activities.

The study by economists Jean Hindriks and Alexandra Lamfalussy (UCLouvain and Itinera) highlights the disparity between French-speaking Belgium and Flanders. Wallonia and Brussels have more politicians across all categories compared to Flanders. Specifically, Flanders has 1 minister per 740,000 inhabitants, while Brussels and Wallonia have 1 per 230,000. The three governments in Brussels and Wallonia also boast the largest cabinets and the highest number of MPs per capita. The French Community and the Walloon Region have twice as many MPs per capita as Flanders, and in Brussels, this figure is four times higher.

These findings underscore the complexity of Belgium's governmental and parliamentary system, reflecting its federal structure and linguistic and cultural diversity. In terms of the number of MPs per million inhabitants, only Portugal and Luxembourg surpass Belgium in Europe. Photo by Zairon, Wikimedia commons.