Belgium’s GDP as a unit of measurement

From City A.M.

First, it’s worth reminding ourselves what 5 per cent GDP growth – let’s call it the “worst case” scenario growth rate – would mean for a country of China’s size. According to the IMF, China’s GDP in 2014 was $10.3 trillion. That means 5 per cent growth in 2015 would add around $520bn to its economy. That’s the equivalent of adding a country the size of Belgium to the global economy in a single year.

A “dead cow” the size of Belgium.

The Vaca Muerta (Dead Cow) shale formation in Argentina is around 30,000 square kilometres. It was discovered in 2011.

In 2012, Bloomberg Business appears to be the first source to compare it with Belgium. Since then, many other journalists appear to have copied Bloomberg’s  comparison.

Petronas to Develop Shale Oil in Vaca Muerta

February 18, 2014 — 4:57 PM GMT

YPF is seeking shale partners to develop Vaca Muerta, an areas the size of Belgium that contains at least 23 billion barrels of oil.

Australian politicians aware of the size of Belgium.

This transcript dates from 2004 and comes from a broadcast on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.  In fact their constituency is smaller than Belgium, and is closer to the size of Armenia.

Eden Monaro

Broadcast: 24/09/2004

Reporter: Kathleen Hyland

Kathleen Hyland went on the Eden Monaro campaign trail with the Liberals’ Gary Nairn and Kel Watt from the ALP.

GARY NAIRN: I’ve probably driven well over half a million kilometres as a member in the eight a half years.

KATHLEEN HYLAND (REPORTER) : Gary Nairn, the experienced businessman and serving MP since 1996 – this time he’s up against former advisor to Jon Stanhope – and 7th generation local – Kel Watt.

KEL WATT: What I can bring is a passion and understanding, I don’t need a map to get around the electorate.

REPORTER: And in this most marginal of seats, the main contenders know that here more than anywhere, that extra doorknock in Narooma or that extra mile to Moruya could truly count.

GARY NAIRN: Having lived overseas for a few years I realised it was the same size as Belgium which is a comment I’ve often made from before I was elected.

KEL WATT: It’s 31-thousand square kiloemtres so it’s huge – it’s the size of Belgium that’s my favourite statistic about Eden Monaro it’s like 3 or 4 electorates crammed together.


Deforestation in Borneo

The UN is using the “size of Belgium” in a report on orangutan conservation and deforestation in Borneo.

UN News Centre

“Borneo’s deforestation rate has been among the world’s highest for over two decades and 56 per cent of the protected tropical lowland forests – an area roughly the size of Belgium – was lost between 1985 and 2001.”

A German-Spanish Dictionary

I sometimes wonder how much the “size of Belgium” is used in non-English languages.  Here’s a page from a German-Spanish dictionary, about the German phrase “so gross wie” (which means “the size of”).

There is a list of example of the phrase in normal usage, and the very first example is …

“Das ist eine Fläche so groß wie Belgien und die Niederlande zusammengenommen.”

Or in English .. “That is an area the size of Belgium and the Netherlands combined.”.

German-Spanish Dictionary