Land use according to the land register

Belgian land use: from Arlon to the low-water line

Housing
Belgian land use: from Arlon to the low-water line

The total surface area of Belgium amounts to 30,689 km² in 2019. The Flemish Region is 13,626 km², the Walloon Region 16,901 km² and the Brussels-Capital Region 162 km².

The statistics on land use give since 1982 an overview of the number of parcels, the surface areas and the non-indexed cadastral income (C.I.) of all parcels and administrative units in Belgium.

Until 2017, the calculation of the total surface area was based on files from the land register of the FPS Finances. The data contained in this database were originally defined during the Napoleonic era (when the land register was created).

From 2018 onwards, the total surface areas come from the CADGIS database of the FPS Finances. The data contained in this database are based on the most recent measuring techniques. The total surface areas are now also in line with international conventions and guidelines from Eurostat, the European statistical office. This is why, for the ten coastal municipalities, the surface area from the coast to the low-water line has been taken into account. This new calculation method only affects total surface areas not included in the land register.

Statistics on land use

Purpose and brief description

The statistics on land use give since 1982 an overview of the number of parcels, the surface areas and the non-indexed cadastral income (C.I.) of all parcels and administrative units in Belgium. The source of these data is the FPS Finances.

A distinction is made between unbuilt parcels and built parcels:

The unbuilt parcels consist of:

  • arable land
  • pasture
  • gardens and parks
  • orchards
  • woods
  • wasteland
  • lands for leisure, sports
  • waters included in the land register
  • roads included in the land register
  • other (n.e.c.)

The built plots consist of:

  • apartments, flats
  • apartment buildings
  • houses, farms
  • outbuildings, including greenhouses
  • workshops and industrial buildings
  • storage facilities
  • banks, offices
  • commercial buildings
  • public buildings
  • utilities
  • buildings for social assistance and health care
  • buildings for education, research and culture
  • places of worship
  • buildings for leisure, sports
  • other (n.e.c.

In addition to the built and unbuilt parcels, there are also the non-standardised parcels and the surface area not included in the land register:

The non-standardised parcels are the parcels to which the FPS Finances has not yet assigned any standardised Cadastral Nature. These have been decreasing over time and since 2010 there has been 0: all parcels have since been allocated a standardised Cadastral Nature.

The sum of the surface areas of the unbuilt parcels, the built parcels and the non-standardised area is also referred to as the surface area included in the land register.

The surface area not included in the land register consists of the surface area that is not divided into parcels. No Cadastral Nature is assigned to this surface area. It is calculated by deducting the surface area included in the land register from the total unchanging surface area of the administrative unit.

A distinction is made according to the taxability both for the surface areas and the cadastral income. Most of the built and unbuilt parcels are taxable: the owners have to pay the tax on property for their use. It is calculated according to the cadastral income. Some parcels are not taxable, for example the public domain or government buildings.

Total unchanging surface area

Until 2017, the calculation of the total unchanging surface area was based on the files from the land register. This database contains the cadastral surface areas that result from the successive updates of the municipality surface areas, such as they were initially defined during the Napoleonic era (when the land register was created).

From 2018 onwards, the calculation of the total unchanging surface area is based on files from the CADGIS system. The surface areas in this database are based on digital files established with the most recent measuring techniques and give a more accurate picture of the actual surface area of the administrative units.

Coast

In order to comply with international conventions, from 2018 onwards, the strip of the Belgian coast delimited by the embankment and the low-water line is taken into account in the calculation of the surface area not included in the land register of the Belgian coastal municipalities.

Population

Belgian State

Frequency

Annually

Timing of publication

Results available 10 months after the reference period