The municipality comprises the villages of Essene, Hekelgem and Teralfene (note that there is no village called Affligem proper). On 1 January 2006 it had 11,956 inhabitants. The total area is 17.70 km2 (7 sq mi), giving a population density of 676 inhabitants per km².
The abbey of Affligem was founded around 1074. The label "anno 1074" on the Affligem beer bottles is based on the foundation history. The brand name is used under licence from the monks of Affligem, by the Op-Ale brewery in the neighbouring village of Opwijk. The brewery is now owned by Heineken International, who have renamed it the Affligem brewery and market the beers internationally.