Flanders (Dutch: Vlaanderen , ) today normally refers to the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium. It is one of the communities, regions and language areas of Belgium. Historically, the name referred to a region located in the northwestern part of present-day Belgium and adjacent parts of France and the Netherlands. Both in the historical and the contemporary meaning, the demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming, while the corresponding adjective is Flemish. Brussels is the capital of Flanders, though it is also autonomous, predominantly French-speaking and only partially under Flanders’ jurisdiction. Over the course of history, the geographical territory that was called “Flanders” has varied, and usage in English was at most periods much vaguer and imprecise than in the region itself. From around 1000 AD, Flanders historically meant the land situated along the North Sea from the Strait of Dover to the Scheldt estuary, with ill-defined southern borders. It came to refer specifically to the County of Flanders, lasting from 862 to 1795, whose territory was situated in the northwestern part of what is now Belgium (approximately the modern Belgian provinces of East and West Flanders), and what are now parts of northern France (French Flanders), and the Netherlands (Zeelandic Flanders). Through marriage, the County of Flanders was joined with most of the rest of the Low Countries around 1400 AD, and it lost its independence. Most of the county’s territory became part of an independent Belgium in 1830, and during the 19th and 20th centuries, it became increasingly commonplace to refer to the entire Dutch-speaking and northern part of Belgium as “Flanders”, including the Belgian parts of the Duchy of Brabant and Limburg. In the late 20th century, Belgium became a federal state in which the Dutch-speaking part was given autonomy as the Flemish Community () and the Flemish Region (); these two entities were effectively merged, except that only the Flemish Community, not the Flemish region, has jurisdiction over Brussels, its capital. Flanders has figured prominently in European history. During the late Middle Ages, Flanders’ trading towns (notably Ghent, Bruges and Ypres) made it one of the richest and most urbanized parts of Europe, weaving the wool of neighbouring lands into cloth for both domestic use and export. As a consequence, a very sophisticated culture developed, with impressive achievements in the arts and architecture, rivaling those of northern Italy. As part of Belgium, Flanders was initially the poorer half of the country, which was dominated by less populated but heavily industrialized French-speaking Wallonia. In the second half of the 20th century, however, there has been a gradual shift of political and economic power to Flanders, which, having modernized its economy, is now more wealthy and prosperous than its southern counterpart.”Belgium.” U.S. Department of State. Web. 26 July 2011. . Geographically, Flanders is generally flat, and has a small section of coast on the North Sea. Flanders is agriculturally fertile and densely populated, with a population density of almost 500 people per square kilometer (1200 per square mile). It borders France to the west, the Netherlands to the north and east, and Wallonia to the south. The Brussels Capital Region is enclaved within the Flemish Region. Flanders has exclaves of its own: Voeren in the east is clamped between Wallonia and the Netherlands and Baarle-Hertog in the north consists of 22 exclaves located in the Netherlands.