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Moving to the German-speaking region of Belgium

Often called East Belgium or just German-speaking Community, the German-speaking region of Belgium is the smallest out of all four of them. If you’re a native or fluent German speaker, you might think about moving there – but is it worth it?

Facts about East Belgium

Belgium’s division into language-based regions might seem complicated for a non-Belgian resident due to the constant overlapping between borders. East Belgium is still technically part of the Wallonia region, with most cities having signs in both German and French, especially the larger ones.

In January 2020, 77,949 residents lived in the region, with the most populous city being its capital, Eupen.

German is also the least known language in Belgium, as only 1% of the Belgian population speaks the language natively. It seems like it’s also the least important one. East Belgium residents are more than capable of speaking both French and English. Because of that, the German language in Belgium is slowly fading away in favour of other official languages and English, unfortunately.

Comparison with Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia

Before looking into the similarities and differences of life in those particular regions, let’s remember one essential thing: East Belgium is much smaller than other regions, not including Brussels – as a capital, it’s much more populous. East Belgium is not even close to other regions in terms of population and area. Even attempting a comparison seems particularly unjust.

Quality and costs of life

While considering moving to East Belgium, it’s worth taking a closer look into the quality of life within its borders.

First and foremost, let’s talk money. Both salaries and costs of living are similar to the averages from the entirety of Belgium, but the region is fairly cheap when compared side-by-side. Rent prices are much more affordable than those in, let’s say, Brussels, Antwerp or Bruges. Eupen, the largest city in the region, has an average salary of about the same as the average salary in Belgium altogether, with minimal differences.