Belgium was one of the countries which, with Britain, initiated the industrialization process. Since it industrialized so fast, Belgium had periods of great economic growth before World War One and during the interwar period.

This was mainly reflected in the economic development of the region of Wallonia. It became a structural pillar of Belgian economy, since the region had most of the materials necessary for the industrial sector to prosper, such as coal, glass and steel mines.

(Mattes-Harris, 2010)


(Coal miners in Wallonia XIXth century. Photo: Rosewood Scrub Historical Society. Picture Ipswich, Ipswich City Council).



However, the substitution of coal by other energy sources such as petrol, initiated the downfall of Wallonia. Wallonia ceased to be the hub of Belgian trade, leaving the road free to other areas such as Flanders.

Nowadays, it has progressed thanks to EU aids, its capacity to attract foreign companies, and the evolution of the axis composed by the cities of Charleroi, Namur, and Liège (Charleroi-Namur-Liège). Out of these three we should highlight the city of Charleroi and the evolution of the area surrounding the Aeropole airport.

Nonetheless, in a world of constant evolution and change, having a great initial phase of progress does not guarantee eternal economic growth. The previous conditions considered as  prosperity warranting have become outdated and archaic. If one does not adapt to the modern world, it will be replaced by those who do.


  1. Mattes-Harris, A. (2010, November 11). Proud legacy of Queensland’s coal mining heyday. Retrieved from Dvision 10 News: https://councillordavidpahlkenews.com/2010/11/11/proud-legacy-of-queenslands-coal-mining-heyday-2/


  1. Berentsen, W. H., Danta, D., Diem, A., Hoffman, G., Malmström, V., Poulsen, T. M., . . . ZumBrunnen, C. (2000). Bélgica. In W. H. Berentsen, D. Danta, A. Diem, G. Hoffman, V. Malmström, T. M. Poulsen, . . . C. ZumBrunnen, Europa Contemporánea: Un análisis geográfico (pp. 345-354). Barcelona: Ediciones Omega, S.A.




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