|Koninkrijk of the
|Form of government
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Parliamentary monarchy in Western Europe on the North
Sea, north-western neighbor of Germany, 41.864 km², 16.3
million residents, capital Amsterdam, seat of government
The Hague , official language Dutch.
The Kingdom of the Netherlands (officially:
Koninkrijk der Nederlanden) is located in Central Europe
and has an area of 41 864 km². The country is often
referred to as "Holland", which today is only the
provinces of North and South Holland, which represent
the political, cultural and economic center of the
The Netherlands borders Germany to the east and
Belgiumto the west . The West Frisian Islands (Texel,
Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland, Schiermonnikoog,
Simonszand, Boschplaat, Rottumerplaat, Rottumeroog) lie
in an arc off the north coast. Between the islands and
the mainland is the Wadden Sea, a narrow, flat strip of
salt water that continues eastwards along the German
coast to Denmark.
Almost 17% of the total area of the Netherlands is
covered by rivers, lakes, mud flats and canals. The
largest rivers are the Scheldt and the Meuse, which
together with the Rhine (Rijn) form a wide delta in the
southwestern province of Zeeland before they flow into
the North Sea.
The state territory of the Netherlands also includes
the Netherlands Antilles north of the coast of Venezuela
and the Caribbean island of Aruba, the residents of
which again spoke out against independence from the
former colonial power in the mid-1990s.
As the country name suggests, around 40% of the
country's surface is lower than sea level. The flat land
is protected from flooding by a complex system of dikes
and protective walls. Coastal protection began around
1,000 years ago after the country was repeatedly
threatened by storm surges. The technology, which has
continued to improve over the centuries, has resulted in
large parts of marshes, bogs and wide estuaries being
drained and being gained as additional land, especially
for agricultural use.
The coastal areas are now part of the Lower
Netherlands. Due to its location below sea level, this
so-called polderland, which is traversed by a network of
canals and ditches, has to be artificially drained, a
task that was previously carried out with the help of
windmills, today by means of electrical pumping
The areas in the east and south of the country just
above sea level belong to the High Netherlands. In the
extreme south-east, the country has a share in the
Rhenish Slate Mountains, here is also the highest
elevation in the country, the Vaalser Berg with 322 m.
The climate of the Netherlands is uniform across the
country and is characterized by relatively cool summers
with average values of around 17 กใ C and mild, humid
winters (average temperatures around 2 กใ C). When north
winds occur, temperatures can be lower, especially in
spring in the north and east of the country. The annual
rainfall is around 740 mm, the rainfall is evenly
distributed over the year.
Flora and fauna
Most of the few forest areas that still exist in the
Netherlands have been planted, only around 8% of the
country is covered. In the provinces of Utrecht and
Gelderland in particular, oak and beech forests can be
found in addition to coniferous forests. Original
vegetation can be found in the heathlands of the dry
geest areas and the bog and raised bog. On the dunes
along the coast, beach grass, silver grass and thistles
grow, which solidify the soil with their roots and
reduce soil erosion. In the coastal area there are also
plant species that are resistant to salt water. The
large fields with planted flowers (especially tulips,
daffodils, hyacinths), which cover large parts of the
country in spring, are typical of the Dutch landscape.
The animals typical of Central Europe such as foxes,
rabbits and deer can be found in the small forest areas.
Otters live in the numerous waters of the polder. The
animal world is diverse, especially the bird life in the
Wadden Sea and on the West Frisian Islands: In addition
to seals, typical waders such as the sandpiper and
oystercatcher live here, and numerous seabirds such as
seagulls, terns and ibis find an ideal habitat here.
Parts of the West Frisian Islands have been declared
The population is 16.29 million. With 389 residents
per square kilometer, the Netherlands is one of the most
densely populated countries in the world. According to COUNTRYAAH, 40% of
the population live on around 10% of the national
territory in the provinces of North and South Holland:
Here lies the capital Amsterdam with around 739,300
residents, The Hague with the country's seat of
government (468,500 residents), Rotterdam (596,100
residents) and Utrecht (275 900 residents). Around 4% of
the population is made up of immigrants from the former
colonies of Indonesia, New Guinea, Suriname and the
Netherlands Antilles. There are also minorities of
Turks, Germans and Moroccans and an approximately
360,000 strong group of Frisians, whose language in the
province of Friesland is the official and school
language in addition to Dutch. Around 60% of the
population are Christians, with Catholics now
predominating over Protestants, who mostly belong to the
Dutch Reformed Church. Around 40% of the residents are
The social and health services of the state are very
well developed, with a life expectancy for women of 81.5
and men of 76 years, the Netherlands is among the top in
Europe. The population grows by an average of 0.5%.
The Netherlands is a parliamentary monarchy based on
a (new) constitution from 1983. The head of state is the
monarch (since April 2013, King Willem-Alexander). The
head of government is the Prime Minister (since 2010
Mark Rutte), who is appointed by the monarch and is
usually the representative of the strongest party or
coalition in parliament. The cabinet is also appointed
by the king or queen.
The parliament ("Staten-General") consists of two
chambers: the first chamber (Eerste Kamer) has 75
members who are elected indirectly by the provincial
parliaments for four years. In the second chamber
(Tweede Kamer) the 150 members are directly elected by
the people for four years. There is also a State Council
with an advisory function. It has a maximum of 28
members, who are determined by the monarch. All citizens
over the age of 18 are entitled to vote.
The Netherlands is divided into twelve provinces.
The Netherlands is a very prosperous country,
although there are very few natural resources apart from
natural gas and low oil reserves. The economy shrank by
1.0% in 2012 and unemployment was 5.3%.
Today, only 2% of all employed people work in highly
technological agriculture. Around two thirds of the
country's area is used for agriculture, mainly potatoes,
cereals, vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and
peppers and horticultural products are grown in open
spaces or in large greenhouses. The tulip, figurehead of
Dutch horticulture, was introduced from Asia to Holland
in the 16th century. Milk and dairy products are
important in agriculture, and Dutch cheese is known
beyond the country's borders. Herring, plaice, mackerel,
cod and cod are among the most important catch fish, and
mussels also play a role in fishing.
After the end of the Second World War, alongside
traditionally strong agriculture, an efficient and
diversified industrial sector developed. Almost a
quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP) is generated
by industrial companies. The top-selling companies
belong to the food, electrical, chemical and natural gas
and oil industries. Oil processing is concentrated in
the Rotterdam area, only a small part of the raw
material comes from our own resources. Due to the lack
of own raw materials, the metal processing industry is
only moderately developed, the demand is met by raw
materials from overseas, which are only partially
processed in their own country.
The most important trading partners of the
Netherlands are above all the countries of the European
Union, from which a good half of the imports come or
into which almost three quarters of the exports go.
Above all, machinery, chemical products, foodstuffs and
petroleum are imported. In addition to agricultural
products, the most important export items include means
of transport, live animals, tobacco and natural gas.
The transport network is very well developed. Around
116,000 km of roads, 2,800 km of rails and around 5,000
km of navigable waterways are available for the
transport of goods. Rotterdam's major port is the
largest seaport in Europe, where the petroleum super
tankers can also be unloaded. Major international
airports are Schiphol and Rotterdam-The Hague.
The currency is the euro.