East Flanders (Dutch: Oost-Vlaanderen [ˌoːst ˈflaːndərə(n)] ,[4] French: (Province de) Flandre-Orientale [flɑ̃dʁ ɔʁjɑ̃tal], German: Ostflandern [ˈɔstˌflandɐn]) is a province of Belgium. It borders (clockwise from the North) the Dutch province of Zeeland and the Flemish province of Antwerp, Flemish Brabant, Hainaut and West Flanders. It has an area of 3,007 km2 (1,161 sq mi), divided into six administrative districts containing 60 municipalities, and a population of 1,515,064 as of January 2019.[5] The capital is Ghent, home to the Ghent University and the Port of Ghent.

East Flanders
Dutch: Oost-Vlaanderen
Flag of East Flanders
Coat of arms of East Flanders
Location of East Flanders
Coordinates: 51°00′N 03°45′E / 51.000°N 3.750°E / 51.000; 3.750
Country Belgium
Region Flanders
(and largest city)
 • GovernorCarina Van Cauter
 • Total3,007 km2 (1,161 sq mi)
 (1 January 2019 [2])
 • Total1,515,064
 • Density500/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
ISO 3166 codeBE-VOV
HDI (2019)0.932[3]
very high · 6th of 11

History Edit

During the short-lived Napoleonic Empire, most of the area of the modern province was part of the Department of Escaut, named after the River Scheldt. Following the defeat of Napoleon, the entity was renamed after its geographical location in the eastern part of the historic County of Flanders (now in the western portion of the current Flemish Region).

The provincial flag has a black lion with red tongue and claws, on a background of horizontal white and green stripes. This is a recent adaptation; formerly, East Flanders used the Flemish flag, a black lion on a yellow background, as in the current coat of arms. The old flag is still publicly used, e.g. for road signs.

Geography Edit

The province has several geographic or tourist regions:

Important rivers are the Scheldt and the Leie which merge in Ghent. The Dender merges into the Scheldt in the city of Dendermonde.

Subdivisions Edit

East Flanders is divided into 6 administrative arrondissements (districts), subdivided into a total of 60 municipalities. In addition, there are 3 judicial and 3 electoral arrondissements.

District Ghent District: Oudenaarde District: Eeklo District: Aalst District: Dendermonde District: Sint-Niklaas District:


944 km²

419 km²

334 km²

469 km²

343 km²

475 km²


Demographics Edit

The province has a population of almost 1.5 million. It had 734,000 inhabitants in 1830, when it was the most populated province of Belgium, and about a million in 1900. Population growth halted around the 1980s, but has increased again in the 21st century. Population figures in recent years is as follows:

Year Population
1 January 1990 1,331,608
1 January 1995 1,349,382
1 January 2000 1,361,623
1 January 2005 1,380,072
1 January 2010 1,432,326
1 January 2015 1,477,346
1 January 2017 1,496,187

The capital and biggest city is Ghent, also the second largest city in the Flemish Region. Other smaller cities are Aalst, Sint-Niklaas and Dendermonde in the east of the province. The eastern part of the province, part of the Flemish Diamond, is more densely populated than the western part.

Economy Edit

The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the province was 56.4 billion € in 2018. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 33,000 € or 109% of the EU27 average in the same year.[6]

Government Edit

The Gravensteen in Ghent, the provincial capital
The Muur van Geraardsbergen

The provincial council (provincieraad) consists of 72 members which were last elected in the 2012 elections. Previously it consisted of 84 members. The council currently consists of the following political parties:

  • N-VA (Flemish nationalists): 21 members
  • CD&V (Christian democrats): 15 members
  • Open VLD (liberals): 15 members
  • sp.a (social democrats): 9 members
  • Vlaams Belang (far-right nationalists): 6 members
  • Groen (greens): 6 members

Six people chosen by and from the council form the daily government, called the deputation (deputatie). The deputation of East Flanders is a coalition of the political parties CD&V, Open Vld and sp.a. The biggest party in the council, N-VA, is not included.

The daily government is led by the governor, who is appointed by the Flemish Government. André Denys (VLD) has been the governor of East Flanders from 26 November 2004 until 21 January 2013.[7] Jan Briers, who is not member of a political party but was nominated by N-VA, succeeded him on 1 February 2013.

The province has a yearly budget of approximately 300 million euro.

Governors Edit


Jan BriersAndré DenysHerman BalthazarRoger de KinderAlbert MariënMaurice Van den BoogaerdeLouis FrederiqJules IngenbleekKarel WeylerAndré de Kerchove de DenterghemMaurice Lippens (governor)Raymond de Kerchove d'ExaerdeLéon Verhaeghe de NaeyerEmile de T'Serclaes De WommersomEdouard De JaegherLeander DesmaisièresLouis de SchierveCharles Vilain XIVWerner de Lamberts-CortenbachPierre De Ryckere

References Edit

  1. ^ "Be.STAT".
  2. ^ "Structuur van de bevolking | Statbel".
  3. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Archived from the original on 2021-07-29.
  4. ^ In isolation, Vlaanderen is pronounced [ˈvlaːndərə(n)].
  5. ^ "Structuur van de bevolking | Statbel".
  6. ^ "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.
  7. ^ "The governor, province East Flanders". Archived from the original on 2006-11-04. Retrieved 2006-03-14.

External links Edit