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East Flanders (Dutch: Oost-Vlaanderen
French: Flandre-Orientale
Province of Belgium
Historical centre of Ghent
Wapen van Oost-Vlaanderen.svg
Coat of arms
Country  Belgium
Region Flanders Flemish Region
Capital Ghent
 - coordinates 51°3′N 03°44′E / 51.050°N 3.733°E / 51.050; 3.733
Highest point Hotondberg
 - location Kluisbergen, Oudenaarde, East Flanders
 - elevation 150 m (492 ft)
Area 2,991 km² (1,155 sq mi)
Population 1,454,716 (1 January 2012)
Density 486 /km² (1,259 /sq mi)
Subdivisions 6 Arrondissements
65 Municipalities
Governor Jan Briers
Timezone CET (UTC+1)
 - summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal codes 9000–9999
ISO 3166-2 BE-VOV

East Flanders (Dutch: Oost-Vlaanderen, French: (Province de) Flandre-Orientale, German: Ostflandern) is a province of Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium.

Its capital, and also the largest city of the province, is Ghent (Dutch: Gent, French: Gand).


East in East Flanders means that it is in eastern part of Flanders, a region that forms part of the present Belgium. The word Flanders refers to the historic county of Flanders and appears for the first time in the year 358 under the name pagus Flandrensis (pagus is a Latin word meaning a very small town, with only few houses).

The pagus Flandrensis region was a coastal area with large tidal channels and green marshes where sheep farmers lived.

The modern province of East Flanders was the old Escaut department, created in 1795 during the First French Empire in the eastern part of the County of Flanders.

In 1815, during the creation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the department became the province of East Flanders.


East Flanders borders (clockwise from the North) on the Netherlands and in Belgium on the provinces of Antwerp, Flemish Brabant (both in Flanders), of Hainaut (Wallonia) and of West Flanders (Flanders).

The province has an area of 2,991 km2 (1,155 sq mi) with a population of 1,454,716 and a density of 486.4 inhabitants per km².

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.

Its highest point is Hotondberg, 150 m (492 ft) high, in the municipality of Kluisbergen, Oudenaarde district.

The main river in the province is the Scheldt (Dutch: Schelde, French: Escaut); it merges with the Leie in Ghent. The Dender flows into the Scheldt in the city of Dendermonde.

Administrative divisions

The province of Hainaut is divided into six arrondissements (Aalst, Dendermonde, Eeklo, Ghent, Oudenaarde and Sint-Niklaas) and a total of 65 municipalities.

Map of the municipalities of Hainaut
(names are in the following table)
Municipalities by arrondissements, with their numbers in the map
Aalst Dendermonde Eeklo
ArrAalstLocation.png ArrDendermondeLocatie.png ArrEekloLocation.png
Ghent Oudenaarde Sint-Niklaas
ArrGentLocatie.png ArrOudenaardeLocatie.png ArrSint-NiklaasLocatie.png

Population by arrondissement

Population on 1 January of each year.

Arrondissement 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Aalst 267,274 269,489 271,466 273,544 276,550 278,667
Dendermonde 189,638 190,338 191,527 192,521 194,015 195,358
Eeklo 80,547 80,864 81,422 81,921 82,458 82,791
Ghent 512,407 516,609 521,796 527,248 533,178 535,904
Oudenaarde 117,125 118,101 119,140 119,995 120,533 121,199
Sint-Niklaas 231,262 233,083 235,064 237,097 239,097 240,797
Province of East Flanders 1,398,253 1,408,484 1,420,415 1,432,326 1,445,831 1,454,716
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