The Quetelet Center for Quantitative Historical Research is an interfaculty and interdisciplinary service centre that offers advice and expertise on the use of historical data that can be studied statistically or in map form.

Researchers from all disciplines and the general public can come to us with questions about the use of quantitative and quantifiable sources on Belgium's past.

In the spotlight


For centuries, common lands played a key role in the survival strategies of local communities in Western Europe. The modernization of the countryside in the 18th and 19th centuries was accompanied by the disappearance of these lands and rights that were used in common. Esther Beeckaert (UGent) investigated how this far-reaching and complex process took place in the Belgian Ardennes. In October she will publicly defend her PhD, which is partly based on LOKSTAT.

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What was the death toll in Belgium through World War I and World War II? Which war cost the most lives? Surprisingly, there is still uncertainty about this. Historian Bruno De Wever (UGent) calculated the number and received help from the Quetelet Center.

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Landlessness is a phenomenon of all times and places. In the past, it was usually synonymous with poverty because without a patch of land to cultivate, many families were unable to provide for themselves. Flanders experienced mass landlessness in the mid-19th century due to an economic crisis that affected large parts of the population. During the second half of the century, the number of families with access to land grew again. This is one of the conclusions of a study conducted by Wouter Ronsijn (UGent) using LOKSTAT.

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Nowadays, the flower market of Ghent, the bird market of Antwerp and the antiques market of Tongeren are mainly tourist attractions, but where could one go in the past for the weekly market? In the previous blog post, Wouter Ronsijn (UGent) showed how many markets were held in the county of Flanders during the early modern period. In this month’s contribution we learn where markets used to be organised and how this pattern evolved over time.

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