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Netherlands Country Guide

Explore Netherlands in Europe

Netherlands with the capital city Amsterdam is located in Europe (Western Europe, bordering the North Sea). It covers some 41,526 square kilometres (slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey) with 16,645,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Netherlands

The landscape offers mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders) with some hills in southeast. The average density of population is approximately 401 per km². The notable climate conditions in Netherlands can be described as temperate with marine and cool summers and mild winters. Potential threats by nature are flooding.

To reach someone in Netherlands dial +31 prior to a number. There are 7,320,000 installed telephones. And there are 21,182,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900/1800/3G MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".nl". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Netherlands

Netherlands Flag Icon

Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue; similar to the flag of Luxembourg, which uses a lighter blue and is longer; the colors were those of WILLIAM I, Prince of Orange, who led the Dutch Revolt against Spanish sovereignty in the latter half of the 16th century; originally the upper band was orange, but because it tended to fade to red over time, the red shade was eventually made the permanent color; the banner is perhaps the oldest tricolor in continuous use.

The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered invasion and occupation by Germany in World War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU) and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999. In October 2010, the former Netherlands Antilles was dissolved and the three smallest islands - Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba - became special municipalities in the Netherlands administrative structure. The larger islands of Sint Maarten and Curacao joined the Netherlands and Aruba as constituent countries forming the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Europe
Neighbours: Germany, Belgium
Capital: Amsterdam
Size41,526 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 16,033 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
CurrencyName Euro, Currency Code:EUR
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).nl
Telephone Country Prefix+31
Mobile Phone Connections21,182,000
Landline Phone Connections7,320,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area41,543 (sq km)135

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population16,805,037 64
Population growth rate0.44 (%)155
Birth rate10.85 (births/1,000 population)176
Death rate8.48 (deaths/1,000 population)82
Net migration rate1.99 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)40
Maternal mortality rate6.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)170
Infant mortality rate3.69 (deaths/1,000 live births)205
Life expectancy at birth81.01 (years)21
Total fertility rate1.78 (children born/woman)154
Health expenditures11.90 (% of GDP)7
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.20 (%)104
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS22,000 74
HIV/AIDS - deaths100 146
Obesity - adult prevalence rate18.80 (%)103
Education expenditures5.90 (% of GDP)42
Unemployment, youth ages 15-247.70 (%)122


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)718,600,000,000 24
GDP - real growth rate-0.90 (%)196
GDP - per capita (PPP)42,900 23
Labor force7,746,000 62
Unemployment rate6.80 (%)71
Distribution of family income - Gini index30.90 111
Investment (gross fixed)16.60 (% of GDP)127
Taxes and other revenues44.90 (% of GDP)25
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-5.10 (% of GDP)159
Public debt68.70 (% of GDP)39
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.40 (%)46
Central bank discount rate1.75 (%)126
Commercial bank prime lending rate3.18 (%)176
Stock of narrow money375,800,000,000 15
Stock of broad money1,119,000,000,000 18
Stock of domestic credit1,693,000,000,000 13
Market value of publicly traded shares661,200,000,000 19
Industrial production growth rate-0.60 (%)151
Current account balance77,200,000,000 6
Exports556,500,000,000 7
Imports490,100,000,000 11
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold51,270,000,000 35
Debt - external2,487,000,000,000 9
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home608,900,000,000 11
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad971,900,000,000 8


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production108,000,000,000 (kWh)34
Electricity - consumption107,400,000,000 (kWh)31
Electricity - exports12,810,000,000 (kWh)15
Electricity - imports15,580,000,000 (kWh)12
Electricity - installed generating capacity25,990,000 (kW)31
Electricity - from fossil fuels84.10 (% of total installed capacity)88
Electricity - from nuclear fuels2.00 (% of total installed capacity)30
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants0.10 (% of total installed capacity)150
Electricity - from other renewable sources13.70 (% of total installed capacity)12
Crude oil - production41,990 (bbl/day)64
Crude oil - exports13,140 (bbl/day)56
Crude oil - imports964,100 (bbl/day)11
Crude oil - proved reserves287,400,000 (bbl)56
Refined petroleum products - production1,239,000 (bbl/day)19
Refined petroleum products - consumption1,010,000 (bbl/day)22
Refined petroleum products - exports1,858,000 (bbl/day)5
Refined petroleum products - imports1,610,000 (bbl/day)3
Natural gas - production81,090,000,000 (cu m)13
Natural gas - consumption49,050,000,000 (cu m)17
Natural gas - exports54,800,000,000 (cu m)8
Natural gas - imports22,760,000,000 (cu m)16
Natural gas - proved reserves1,303,000,000,000 (cu m)24
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy263,400,000 (Mt)25


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use7,135,000 25
Telephones - mobile cellular19,835,000 48
Internet hosts13,699,000 11
Internet users14,872,000 27


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports27 124
Railways2,896 (km)58
Roadways136,827 (km)35
Waterways6,214 (km)22
Merchant marine744 15


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures1.60 (% of GDP)90

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Defence Line of Amsterdam
Extending 135 km around the city of Amsterdam, this defence line (built between 1883 and 1920) is the only example of a fortification based on the principle of controlling the waters. Since the 16th century, the people of the Netherlands have used th ...
Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder)
The Beemster Polder, dating from the early 17th century, is is an exceptional example of reclaimed land in the Netherlands. It has preserved intact its well-ordered landscape of fields, roads, canals, dykes and settlements, laid out in accordance wit ...
Historic Area of Willemstad, Inner City and Harbour, Curaçao
The people of the Netherlands established a trading settlement at a fine natural harbour on the Caribbean island of Curaçao in 1634. The town developed continuously over the following centuries. The modern town consists of several distinct historic d ...
Ir.D.F. Woudagemaal (D.F. Wouda Steam Pumping Station)
The Wouda Pumping Station at Lemmer in the province of Friesland opened in 1920. It is the largest steam-pumping station ever built and is still in operation. It represents the high point of the contribution made by Netherlands engineers and architec ...
Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout
The outstanding contribution made by the people of the Netherlands to the technology of handling water is admirably demonstrated by the installations in the Kinderdijk-Elshout area. Construction of hydraulic works for the drainage of land for agricul ...
Rietveld Schröderhuis (Rietveld Schröder House)
The Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht was commissioned by Ms Truus Schröder-Schräder, designed by the architect Gerrit Thomas Rietveld, and built in 1924. This small family house, with its interior, the flexible spatial arrangement, and the visual a ...
Schokland and Surroundings
Schokland was a peninsula that by the 15th century had become an island. Occupied and then abandoned as the sea encroached, it had to be evacuated in 1859. But following the draining of the Zuider Zee, it has, since the 1940s, formed part of the land ...
Seventeenth-Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht
The historic urban ensemble of the canal district of Amsterdam was a project for a new ‘port city’ built at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th centuries. It comprises a network of canals to the west and south of the historic old town and t ...
Van Nellefabriek
Van Nellefabriek was designed and built in the 1920s on the banks of a canal in the Spaanse Polder industrial zone north-west of Rotterdam. The site is one of the icons of 20th-century industrial architecture, comprising a complex of factories, with ...