Form of Government: Constitutional monarchy
Area: 41 543 sq km
Population: 17 081 507 inhab. (estimate 2017)
Density: 411.18 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 54° - 51° N; long. 3° - 7° E
Capital: Amsterdam (capital) 844 947 inhab. (2016); Amsterdam 1 570 523 inhab. (2013), urban agglomeration; The Hague=’s-Gravenhage (seat of government) 524 882 inhab. (2016); The Hague 1 051 980 inhab. (2013), urban agglomeration
Currency: euro (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.924 (rank: 7)
Sovereign: King Willem-Alexander, since 30 April 2013
Prime Minister: Mark Rutte (VVD), in office since 14 October 2010, re-elected 26 October 2017
Dutch House of Representatives: seats based on the elections of 15 March 2017: VVD (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, liberal), 33; PVV (Party for Freedom, populist xenophobic), 20; CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal), 19; D66 (Democrats 66, progressive liberal), 19; GL (Green Left), 14; SP (Socialist Party), 14; PvdA (Labour Party), 9; others, 22
Internet: www.cbs.nl (Statistics Netherlands)
Member of Benelux, Council of Europe, EBRD, EU, NATO, OAS observer, OECD, OSCE, UN, WTO

Netherlands

Nederland, Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
Useful information

International license plate code NL
International dialling code 0031
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .nl

GMT  +1
DST  +2
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October

Annual average temperature (°C) Amsterdam 9.7
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Amsterdam 2.5/17
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Amsterdam 7/1
Annual average precipitation (mm) Amsterdam 780
Days of rainfall (annual average) Amsterdam 127

Politics and current affairs

More than 7 months after the inconclusive elections on 15 March 2017, a new coalition formed by VVD, D66, CDA and CU confirmed Mark Rutte (VVD) as Prime Minister. The country’s rapport with Russia has hit a historic low, the latter being held legally responsible for the downing of flight MH17 in July 2014, killing 196 Dutch citizens. On 21 March 2018, the electorate shot down a new law regarding intelligence services in a consultative referendum.

Geography.
The Netherlands is bordered to the east by Germany, to the south by Belgium, and to the north and west by the North Sea. With the exception of the Ardennes hills in the southernmost province of Limburg, the Netherlands is a vast low-lying plain protected along its coast by a major system of sea-barriers, embankments and canals. The country’s largest river is the Rhine. The climate is maritime with abundant rainfall. The Bonaire Islands, which lie opposite the coast of Venezuela, are also part of the Netherlands, together with Sint Eustatius and Saba in the Lesser Antilles.

Government


Formerly the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (from 1581) and an independent kingdom (from 1830), the country has been alternately governed since 1950 by the Christian-Democratic and Labour parties, often at the head of centre-left or centre-right coalitions. Under the Constitution of 17 February 1983, legislative power resides with the Crown and the Parliament (States-General) comprising two chambers elected with four-year mandates: the House of Representatives or Lower House (150 directly-elected members) and the Senate (75 members elected by provincial assemblies).


Defence.
In 2014 the Netherlands joined with other countries in the fight to limit the power of ISIS in Iraq.


Justice.
The judicial system is largely based on that of France, and has steadily worked to extend the civil rights of citizens. Same-sex marriages were legalized in 2000, and euthanasia in 2001.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force22.3%2015
Army52.3%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Crimes6 792.9per 100 000 pop.2012
Homicides0.6per 100 000 pop.2015
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Amsterdam844 947inhab.2016
Rotterdam634 660inhab.2016
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Amsterdam1 570 523inhab.2013
Rotterdam1 178 803inhab.2013
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2017)
75+
60-74
45-59
30-44
15-29
0-14
MALEAGEFEMALE

The population density is one of the highest in Western Europe. The number of immigrants exceeds that of emigrants, but large numbers of Dutch people continue to migrate.

Demographic statistics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Birth rate10.12016
Death rate8.72016
Foreigners
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Foreigners, total2 001 175units2017
Turks190 331units2017
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Dutch88.3%2017
other6.7%2017


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
nonreligious/atheist49%2014
Catholic24%2014


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Dutch (Netherlandic) (official)
Frisian
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years16.4%2017
15-29 years18.5%2017


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Economy


Economic situation.
A phase of economic expansion continues, with a steady growth around 3%. The unemployment rate dropped to 4.9%, a historical record. Public finances are stable.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)117.81index2016
Balance of trade77 692M US$2017
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population9 042 400units2017
Active population, Females46.5%2017
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate4.9%2017
Unemployment rate, Females50.5%2017
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses185 907M LCU2017
Revenues192 510M LCU2017
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture2%2017
industry14.9%2017
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture2.1%2017
industry19.5%2017
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation61.9BN LCU2017
International reserves38 422M US$2017
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Agriculture


Primary sector
Agriculture.
Cereals account for half of all arable land. Potatoes, sugar beet, market gardening and flower-growing are also important.
Livestock.
Almost half the added value of the primary sector comes from livestock farming (mainly cattle and pigs) which produces meat and dairy products, especially cheeses (at Edam, Alkmaar, Hoorn and Gouda) which are widely exported.
Fishing.
There is a modern, well developed fishing industry. Herring is the most important product, with its main processing and smoking centre at Vlaardingen. Oyster fishing is active in Zealand. The main fishing ports are Scheveningen, Katwijk, Vlaardingen and IJmuiden.

Land use
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
arable land31.79%2015
forests11.16%2015
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley236.2311000 t2016
cereals, total1 355.2191000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes6 534.3381000 t2016
roots and tubers, total6 534.3381000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asparagus18.61000 t2016
cabbages245.51000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry2.631000 t2016
beans, green331000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes0.3281000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed5.2791000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet5 502.21000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow13.7641000 t2016
linseed1.7871000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste17.4171000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples3171000 t2016
blueberries7.9191000 t2016
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms3001000 t2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley34.4281000 ha2016
maize8.4241000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes155.5941000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages5.9341000 ha2016
carrots and turnips9.411000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry0.8221000 ha2016
beans, green3.0521000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape0.8281000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed1.5981000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet70.7221000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow2.4151000 ha2016
linseed2.4151000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste2.2621000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples7.3351000 ha2016
blueberries0.7751000 ha2016
Agriculture - areas harvested - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms0.0591000 ha2016
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber2 271 4762016
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle4 2941000 heads2016
cattle and buffaloes4 2941000 heads2016
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs12 4791000 heads2016
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep1 0401000 heads2016
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats5041000 heads2016
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
equines, total139.8041000 heads2016
horses139.8041000 heads2016
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds107 3131000 heads2016
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter140.5241000 t2014
cheese771.9411000 t2014
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs86 356t2016
freshwater fishes4 004t2016
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Minerals


Secondary sector
Minerals.
The country has vast natural gas reserves both offshore and on the mainland: however, production from the largest gas field in Groningen will be closed down by 2030. From 2019 it will be possible to transport gas from the UK to the Netherlands through the BBL pipeline, further integrating the European market. Oil production is important (fields of Coevorden-Schoonebeek, Rijswijk). There are also significant deposits of salt.
Energy and industry.
Large oil refineries operate in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Vlissingen. A nuclear power station is active at Borssele. Major industries include textile fibres (man-made and synthetic) and fertilizers. Salt, chlorine and soda are produced at Hengelo and near Delfzijl. The iron and steel industry is based at IJmuiden, Budel, Arnhem, Delfzijl and Rotterdam. Big multinationals based in the Netherlands include Unilever (agriculture and food, cleaning products), Royal Dutch Shell (oil), Philips (electronics), FCA and Renault (automotive). Mechanical industry includes ship-building, automobiles and railway workshops. There are textile mills at Twente (cotton) and Tilburg (wool). Other industries include tobacco, sugar, margarine, cocoa and chocolate, beers, spirits, leather, diamonds, porcelain and pottery.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
natural gas46 349M m³2017
oil, crude906.11000 t2017
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
salt5 0001000 t2012
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal85 083.16M kWh2015
- other renew.15 236M kWh2015
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal27 2141000 kW2015
- other renew.6 1301000 kW2015
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation104 274.16M kWh2015
total installed capacity33 8631000 kW2015
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
aluminium1101000 t2016
aluminium, primary1101000 t2016
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bikes1 063 000no.2015
cars155 000no.2017
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
air conditioners5 069no.2015
fridges67 610no.2015
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen4831000 t2015
petrol14 848.41000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia2 3001000 t2017
caustic soda0.81000 t2014
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
carpets141 4921000 m²2015
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear463 961pairs2015
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley2 369.61000 t2014
fish, frozen63.81000 t2015
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigars2 545.3M units2005
tobacco47 942t2015
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemi-mechanical pulp451000 t2016
mechanical pulp451000 t2016
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement2 6001000 t2015
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production14 303.1M US$2014
food, beverages and tobacco production17 807.7M US$2014
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Trade


Tertiary sector.
The tertiary sector is worth over 75% of the GDP. The country shows a tendency toward foreign trade and constitutes the first gateway to the European market. Many services are focused in the transportation and logistics sectors. Rotterdam is the biggest port in Europe.


Main exports (M US$ - 2017) machinery 56 408, telecommunications equipment 50 833, petroleum products 44 591, computers and accessories 36 845, chemicals 36 343, electrical and electronic equipment 36 283, pharmaceuticals 33 530, optical and electro-medical appliances 30 093, vehicles and parts thereof 27 332, plastics 25 450, iron and steel 23 251, fruit and vegetables 15 096, plants and flowers 10 327, apparel and accessories 10 159, meat 9 847, crude oil 9 263, aluminium 8 769, cheese and dairy products 8 713, fruit & vegetable juices and preserves 5 997


Finance and banking.
The Amsterdam Stock Exchange belongs to the Euronext group.

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufactures67.260% of goods exports2016
food products17.457% of goods exports2016
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Germany146 764M US$2017
Belgium68 344M US$2017
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
China93 424M US$2017
Germany86 514M US$2017
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2017651 999.915M US$ -
2016571 435.907M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2017574 307.848M US$ -
2016505 066.958M US$ -
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Tourism


Tourism. The cities, mainly Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, attract most tourists.

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures20 321M US$2016
Number of arrivals15 828 000units2016
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Communications


Transport.
The highly developed canal and river network accounts for about a third of all freight transport and connects directly with Germany, Belgium, France and Switzerland.

Communication - Transport
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Civil aviation, km flown459 500 000km flown2004
Civil aviation, passengers carried42 770.61000 units2017
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers423.269per 1000 pop.2017
Computers912per 1000 pop.2008
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Social and welfare


Education, culture & research.
Compulsory education is full-time from 5 to 16 years and part-time for two years.


Social security and health.
The highly efficient social security system is partially private, the state only being responsible for pensions, low-income benefit and disability benefit.

Social statistics - Education
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expected years of schooling18years2016
Gradautes, percentage36%2016
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Teachers, primary level101 643units2016
Teachers, secondary level111 849units2016
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending37.3% of total expenses2016
Social protection spending30.2% of GDP2015
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds3.6per 1000 pop.2016
Physicians3.5per 1000 pop.2016
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.2% of adults2016
HIV, total0.1%2001
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Museums810units2009
Museums, visitors26 484 000units2013
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending2.03% of GDP2016
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking100%2016
Access to electricity100%2016
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear5.1%2016
education0.8%2016
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