Form of Government: Constitutional monarchy
Area: 41 543 sq km
Population: 17 475 415 inhab. (estimate 2020)
Density: 420.66 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 54° - 51° N; long. 3° - 7° E
Capital: Amsterdam (capital) 873 338 inhab. (2020); Amsterdam 1 157 000 inhab. (2020), urban agglomeration; The Hague=’s-Gravenhage (seat of government) 548 320 inhab. (2020); The Hague 1 054 793 inhab. (2014), urban agglomeration
Currency: euro (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.944 (rank: 8)
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 15/17 March 2021: VVD (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, liberal), 34; D66 (Democrats 66, progressive liberal), 24; PVV (Party for Freedom, populist xenophobic), 17; CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal), 15; SP (Socialist Party), 9; PvdA (Labour Party), 9; GL (Green Left), 8; others, 34
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

The parliamentary elections held from 15 to 17 March 2021 were won by Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s liberal VVD party (21.9%). The pro-European D66 came second (15%). After the vote, 17 parliamentary groups were set up, which has made talks to form the government difficult. Rutte’s outgoing government remains in office.

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. A law was introduced in 2019 requiring women to serve on the boards of listed companies.

Defence
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Air force22.3%2015
Army52.3%2015
Justice
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Crimes6 792.9per 100 000 pop.2012
Homicides0.7per 100 000 pop.2018
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Administrative division

Administrative divisions
Cities
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Amsterdam873 338inhab.2020
Rotterdam651 631inhab.2020
Urban agglomerations
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Rotterdam1 181 284inhab.2014
Amsterdam1 157 000inhab.2020
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Population

Population by age and gender (% - 2020)
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 rate9.82019
Death rate8.82019
Foreigners
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Foreigners, total2 262 256units2020
Turks197 446units2020
Ethnic groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Dutch87$%2020
other7.8%2020


Religions
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
nonreligious/atheist51$%2019
Catholic23.6%2019


Languages
DESCRIPTION
Dutch (Netherlandic) (official)
Frisian
Population by selected age groups
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
0-14 years16.1%2020
15-29 years18.3%2020


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Economy


Economic situation.
In 2020, the economy was deeply impacted by the health emergency (-3.8%). The GDP is expected to recover in 2021 (+3.5%). Consumer and business confidence are improving.

Economy - General data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)117.81index2016
Agricultural prod. index (2014-16=100)99.94index2019
Economy - Employment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Active population9 337 700units2020
Active population, Females46.9%2020
Economy - Unemployment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Unemployment rate3.8%2020
Unemployment rate, Females48.5%2020
Economy - State budget
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenses252 504M LCU2020
Revenues215 023M LCU2020
Employment by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture1.852%2020
industry14.284%2020
GDP by economic activity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
agriculture1.774%2020
industry19.925%2020
Financial data
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Currency in circulation77.893BN LCU2020
International reserves53 971.405M US$2020
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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 and fishing.
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, which are widely exported. 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 land31.443%2018
forests10.915%2018
Agriculture - products - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley242.371000 t2019
cereals, total1 541.911000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes6 961.231000 t2019
roots and tubers, total6 961.231000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
asparagus18.151000 t2019
cabbages245.291000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry1.8291000 t2018
beans, green49.151000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grapes1.61000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed6.011000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sugar beet6 644.711000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow13.361000 t2019
linseed1.5081000 t2018
Agriculture - products - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste14.071000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples2731000 t2019
blueberries11.061000 t2019
Agriculture - products - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms3001000 t2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Cereals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
barley33.391000 ha2019
maize19.011000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Roots and tubers
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
potatoes165.731000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Vegetables
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cabbages6.091000 ha2019
carrots and turnips9.911000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Pulses
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beans, dry1.0161000 ha2018
beans, green4$1000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Grape
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
grape0.161000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Oilcrops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
rapeseed1.781000 ha2019
soybeans0.481000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Industrial crops
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hops0.011000 ha2018
sugar beet79.181000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Flax
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
flax fibre and tow2.291000 ha2019
linseed2.2181000 ha2018
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fiber plants
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
hemp tow waste1.881000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Fruits
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
apples6.421000 ha2019
blueberries1.111000 ha2019
Agriculture - areas harvested - Others
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mushrooms0.061000 ha2019
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Forests-Livestock-Fishing

Forestry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
timber2 805 0002019
Livestock - Cattle
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cattle3 7211000 heads2019
cattle and buffaloes3 7211000 heads2019
Livestock - Pigs
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
pigs11 9211000 heads2019
Livestock - Sheep
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sheep7581000 heads2019
Livestock - Goats
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
goats5511000 heads2019
Livestock - Equines
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
equines, total141.3861000 heads2018
horses141.3861000 heads2018
Livestock - Poultry
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
birds105 4381000 heads2018
Livestock - Livestock products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
butter153.6741000 t2018
cheese9531000 t2018
Fishing
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
crustaceans and molluscs72 965t2019
freshwater fishes3 705t2019
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Minerals


Secondary sector
Minerals.
The country has vast natural gas reserves both offshore and on the mainland: however, the largest gas field in Groningen will stop its on-site production by 2023. The BBL pipeline transports gas to and from the UK; another pipeline connects the country with Denmark.
A regasification terminal is active in Rotterdam. Oil production is important (fields of Coevorden-Schoonebeek, Rijswijk and offshore). 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. A connection with the Danish electricity grid is in operation; an agreement for greater cooperation in energy sector was signed with Germany. Major industries include textile fibres (man-made and synthetic) and fertilizers. Production of salt, chlorine and soda is also relevant.
The steel industry has several hubs, including Rotterdam. Some large multinational companies are based in the Netherlands, such as Unilever (agriculture and food, cleaning products), Royal Dutch Shell (oil), Philips (electronics), Stellantis (automotive), Campari (beverages). Mechanical industry includes ship-building, automobiles and railway workshops. Textile mills process cotton and wool. Other industries include tobacco, sugar, margarine, cocoa and chocolate, beers, spirits, leather, diamonds, porcelain and pottery.

Mineral resources - Energy minerals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
natural gas19 972.2M m³2020
oil, crude1 632.21000 t2020
Mineral resources - Non-metal ores
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
salt5 0001000 t2020
Mineral resources - Rocks
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
sand and gravel - t51 0001000 t2020
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Energy

Electric energy - Generated
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal88 324.84M kWh2019
- other renew.22 626.56M kWh2019
Electric energy - Installed capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
- thermal24 301.51000 kW2018
- other renew.12 4741000 kW2019
Electric energy - Total production and capacity
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
total net generation114 725.36M kWh2019
total installed capacity35 021.51000 kW2018
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Industry

Industry - Iron and Steel, Metallurgy
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
aluminium1501000 t2019
aluminium, primary1501000 t2019
Industry - Machinery and transport equipment
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bikes887 131no.2016
cars127 058no.2020
Industry - Electrical and electronics
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
air conditioners12 177no.2016
fridges67 610no.2015
Industry - Petrochemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
bitumen3301000 t2018
petrol14 848.41000 t2014
Industry - Chemicals
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
ammonia2 2001000 t2020
caustic soda0.81000 t2014
Industry - Textiles
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
carpets156 0001000 m²2019
Industry - Clothing and footwear
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
footwear372 466pairs2016
Industry - Food and beverages
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
beer of barley2 477.531000 t2018
fish, frozen54.41000 t2016
Industry - Tobacco
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cigars2 545.3M units2005
tobacco36 889t2016
Industry - Paper and wood products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
mechanical pulp33.8211000 t2019
other paper2 8951000 t2019
Industry - Glass and other non-metallic mineral products
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
cement2 6901000 t2018
Industry - Various
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
chemicals production16 869.247M US$2018
food, beverages and tobacco production18 045.531M US$2018
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Trade


Tertiary sector.
The country shows a tendency toward tertiary and foreign trade. Many services are focused in the transportation and logistics sectors. Rotterdam is the biggest port in Europe. After Brexit, the number of businesses attracted has doubled in 2019.


Main exports (M US$ - 2017) machinery 56 408, telecommunications equipment 50 833, petroleum products 44 591, computers & accessories 36 845, chemicals 36 343, electrical & electronic equipment 36 283, pharmaceuticals 33 530, optical & electro-medical appliances 30 093, vehicles & parts thereof 27 332, plastics 25 450, iron & steel 23 251, fruit & vegetables 15 096, plants & flowers 10 327, apparel & accessories 10 159


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

Composition of goods exports
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
manufactures65.487% of goods exports2019
food products15.159% of goods exports2019
International trade by country - Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Germany121 518M US$2020
Belgium56 632M US$2020
International trade by country - Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Germany85 227M US$2020
China50 461M US$2020
Merchandise Export
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2020674 475M US$ -
2019708 596M US$ -
Merchandise Import
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
2020596 746M US$ -
2019635 678M US$ -
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Tourism


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

International Tourism
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Expenditures25 952M US$2018
Number of arrivals20 128 000units2019
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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 carried46 358.51000 units2019
Communication - Media and telecommunication
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Broadband subscribers436.272per 1000 pop.2019
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 schooling18.56years2018
Gradautes, percentage40.385%2019
Social statistics - Students and Teachers by level
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Students, primary level1 175 018units2018
Students, secondary level1 632 486units2018
Social statistics - Social protection
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Social protection spending36.743% of total expenses2019
Social protection spending16.08% of GDP2019
Social statistics - Health
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Hospital beds3.17per 1000 pop.2018
Physicians3.67per 1000 pop.2018
Social statistics - Diseases
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
HIV0.2% of adults2019
HIV, total0.1%2001
Museums
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Museums694units2016
Museums, visitors34 400 000units2016
Research
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Research and development spending2.16% of GDP2019
Other social indicators
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking100%2019
Access to electricity100%2019
Household consumption expenditure
DESCRIPTIONVALUEUNITSYEAR
clothing, footwear5.1%2019
education0.7%2019
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