On the Blog: US vs Belgium

Jul 01, 2014

Last week, we watched US play Germany and throughout the match discussed the various scenarios that would allow us to move on to the knockout bracket. Fortunately, USA made it! So we thought we would make the country comparisons a series as long as the US continues to stay alive at the World Cup. 

So on to our next head to head - US vs. Belgium.world cup soccer ball


I don’t think we can talk futbol or Belgium without talking about beer. In Montana, we love our beer. According to the Montana Brewers Association, there are 40 licensed breweries operating in the state that generate approximately $26 million of revenue and employ more than 350 employees. However, as proud as we are of our beer, Belgium is known for one thing - beer. And fries. Or chocolate. Anyway, Belgium is home to the world's biggest brewer - Anheuser-Busch InBev that produces one in five beers sold around the world. (But guess where it gets the barley to make that beer?  Yep - Montana.)  Belgium also makes a bigger range of beer than any other country —1,131! We should also note that it is much cheaper to by beer in Belgium – 42.19% cheaper.


Thank goodness it is cheap to buy beer in Belgium because there are few jobs to go around. In Montana, our unemployment rate was a 4.8% in April. As proud as we are of this number, we know that there are still too many people struggling to find work and livable wages. However, I was shocked when I started researching Belgium to discover that it has a 17.8% unemployment rate! According to this report, it ranks in the bottom 5% in terms of jobs. Ouch!


In Montana, our high school graduation rate was 84.4% in 2013. According to this report, 91.7% of our workforce has at least high school education compared to only 74.2% in Belgium. There are many factors that influence these numbers.  However, we know that education is important to economic growth, and these numbers seem to back that up. 

So even though Belgium beats us in beer production, we pull ahead in terms of jobs and education. Hopefully we will come away from this match later today victorious as well.


Many of our comparisons came to us from Numbeo, an online database of user-contributed information and OECD Regional Well-Being.

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