Flanders and Brussels are the other two regions of Belgium. Wallonia is one of the three regions of Belgium.
Wallonia is mostly French-speaking and covers the southern part of the country. It makes up 55% of Belgium's land, but only a third of its population. The Walloon Region and the French Community of Belgium, which is a political group that mostly deals with things like culture and education, are two separate things. The French Community of Belgium includes both Wallonia and the bilingual Brussels-Capital Region.
There is a small group of German-speaking people in eastern Wallonia because three cantons that were part of the German Empire were taken over at the end of World War I. This group makes up less than 1% of the Belgian population. A group of people who speak German live together in Belgium, and they have their own government and parliament for culture-related issues.
During the Industrial Revolution, Wallonia was second only to the United Kingdom in industrialization because it had a lot of coal and iron. This made the region rich, and from the beginning of the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century, Wallonia was the more prosperous part of Belgium. This made the region rich. Since World War II, heavy industry has become less important, and the Flemish Region has become richer than Wallonia as Wallonia has become poorer. Wallonia now has a lot of unemployment and a lot less money per person than Flanders. People in Belgium have a lot of problems because of the economic and linguistic differences between the two. This is also a big reason why the Flemish want to leave the country.
Namur is the capital of Wallonia, and Charleroi is the most populated city. This is because Wallonia is a part of Belgium. Almost all of the major cities in Wallonia and two-thirds of its people live in the Sambre and Meuse valleys, which were the industrial heart of Belgium before the country split into two. Flanders is on the Central Belgian Plateau, which is flat and agriculturally rich. To the north of this valley, Wallonia is on the Central Belgian Plateau as well. South and southeast Wallonia is made up of the Ardennes, a large area of forested highland that is less crowded than the rest of the country.
Across the border, Flanders and the Netherlands (the province of Limburg) are on the north. France (Grand Est and Hauts-de-France) is on both sides of the border, as well as Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate) and Luxembourg (Capellen, Clervaux, Esch-sur-Alzette, Esch-sur-Alzette, Redange, and Wiltz) on the east. For more than 30 years, Wallonia has been a member of the Organization Internationale de la Francophonie, or OIF.
The word "Wallonia" can mean different things in different places. A federal region in Belgium called the "Walloon Region" is still legally called "Wallonia," but the regional government has changed its name to "Wallonia," and people call it that. Before April 1, 2010, when the name changed, Wallonia was sometimes used to refer to the area controlled by the Walloon Region, while Walloon Region was used to refer to the government. Practice makes the difference between these words very small, and what they mean is usually clear based on how they are used in the context.
Wallonia is a word that comes from words like Wales, Cornwall, and Wallachia, as well as the words Celt and Belgae, which have changed over time. Gallic or Celtic people were called Walha by the Germanic word Walha, which meant "the strangers." Wallonia is named after the Walloons, a group of people who live in the area and speak Romance languages. Both "secular" Walloon kingdoms and principalities and the French-speaking population of Prince-Bishopric of Liege were called "walloons" in Middle Dutch and French. They were also called "walloons" in English.