Netherlands 2000

By | December 1, 2021


The demographic dynamics of PB (15. 678. 000 residents, According to a UN estimate, in 1998) has experienced in recent years a gradual decline in the growth rate, due in part to a reduction in the natural growth rate (3, 5 ‰ in 1997), partly due to a contraction in the immigration flow. The distribution of the population continues to be rather uneven and, against an average density of 374 residents / km ², there are the maximum values ​​of the three western provinces (South Holland with 1151 ; North Holland with 928 ; Utrecht with811), the most industrialized and richest of traffics, that overall, on a little area of greater than 20 % of the territory, concentrate the 44, 4 % of the entire population, while the lowest density are recorded in the areas of most recent conquest. The most populous city remains the capital, Amsterdam, with 715. 100 pop. in 1997 (1. 101. 400 residents in the entire urban agglomeration), followed by Rotterdam (598. 500 residents) and The Hague (442 200ab.). The national territory is perfectly served by a capillary transport system that makes it easy to integrate all the inhabited points into a single large housing-production complex.

Economic conditions

The PB economy is solid and the average standard of living is very high, with a social services system that is at the forefront in Europe, so much so that there has even been talk of the ‘Dutch model’ for this country, which is managed to reduce unemployment to very modest levels (5.5 % in 1997, but 2 % in previous years), especially if referred to the European context. Numerous factors have contributed to this success, including the small size of the territory, social cohesion, political stability and the adaptability of the economy, as well as the lower dependence on foreign companies compared to other small states (such as, for example, Belgium).

Agriculture, which was once the most important activity, has now taken a back seat compared to processing activities; however it still holds some primates, such as that of the bulbs and flowers, cultivated in the reclamation polders with avant-garde techniques; vegetables, partly grown in greenhouses, are also very important and, together with sugar beet, potatoes and farm products, provide 18 % of exported goods. Pig and bovine farming is practiced with very modern systems, and Friesland is today one of the main dairy regions in Europe. Fishing, both coastal and offshore, is also practiced with advanced technologies. For Netherlands culture and traditions, please check

The country has large reserves of natural gas, ‘clean’ and low-cost energy, extracted from the rich fields around Groningen and off-shore. of the North Sea, connected by an extensive network of gas pipelines, which serves the entire territory and is able to convey the product to Germany, Belgium, France and Italy. After an initial intense exploitation of gas, there was a reduction in its exports, also with the intention of not exhausting the reserves, partially set aside for a strategic purpose, too quickly. And so we have returned to exploit coal mines, after a phase of production decline, with the activation of even minor fields, while the debate continues on nuclear energy which, disputed by the population, is produced only in a few and small plants. .

The manufacturing activities are numerous and cover many sectors, with majority shareholdings in various multinational companies (especially in the food, electronics and petrochemical sectors); many industries originated from the exploitation of the vast colonial empire and, even if today it no longer exists (except for the dependencies of Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles), the processing of cocoa, coffee, tobacco, spices remains very flourishing, cane sugar; the activity of cutting and processing diamonds, of which the PBs held the monopoly (Amsterdam), is now in decline due to competition from Tel Aviv; some handicraft productions are famous all over the world (Delft pottery). However, industrial development has caused significant ecological problems,

International transport is extremely efficient: the port system at the mouth of the Rhine, Rotterdam-Europoort, is the first in Europe and the second in the world (after Singapore); second national port is that of Amsterdam. A dense network of natural and artificial waterways (4832 km) ensures connections with all of Central Europe.

The trade balance is active because the export of finished products largely covers the value of the import of raw materials; however the high social expenses always make it difficult to balance the state budget so that, even in anticipation of the implementation of the agreements for the adoption of the single currency between the countries of the European Union, the government had to reduce some expenses and increase the level of taxes, aggravating the problem of unemployment especially among the large community of immigrant workers from Asian and African countries.


For about twenty years, since the end of the 1970s, the PBs have been ruled by coalition governments centered on the Christian Democratic Party (CDA, Christen-Democratisch Appel), born in 1980 from the merger of three confessional parties, one Catholic and two Protestant. The Christian Democrats of the CDA allied themselves alternately with the liberals of the VVD (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) and with the Laborites of the PvdA (Partij van de Arbeid). Center-right governments led the country almost continuously from 1978 to 1989, while a center-left government, chaired by a Christian Democrat anyway, was in power from 1989 to 1994..

In this long period, the PBs have shown themselves to be particularly attentive to issues related to the environment, the defense of civil rights, the consolidation of an anti-militarist choice (the anti-nuclear one being now acquired) which has resulted in a net decrease in expenses for armed forces accompanied by a gradual abolition of military conscription. But the most debated issue among the political forces was that relating to the strategies to be implemented to reduce the heavy public deficit, through a limitation of the state’s spending on welfare policies. The PBs, in fact, committed a considerable share of their expenses to the welfare state (62.1 % of the total in 1997, of which 14.8% for the health system).

In 1991 the proposal made by the Christian Democrats, then ruling with Labor, to reduce welfare spending, found Labor willing to negotiate, but the 1994 general elections saw a marked reduction in votes for both Christian Democrats and Labor.. The CDA in fact lost 20 of its 54 seats and Labor won only 37 compared to the 49 won in the 1989 elections. The liberals of the VVD and the progressives of the D 66 (Democraten 66) increased their votes to 31 and 24 respectivelyseats. After these elections, the Christian Democrats of the CDA went to the opposition for the first time since 1917, while a government was formed chaired by the Labor leader, Wim Kok, to lead an alliance between Labor, Liberals and exponents of the D 66. However, the CDA won 10 of the 31 seats up for grabs in the European Parliament elections in June 1994, while Labor won 8 and Liberals 6.. The discussions that preceded the formation of the new government had been particularly difficult, precisely because of the disagreement between Labor and Liberals over the need to make severe cuts in welfare state spending. The new government privatized the post and telecommunications sector in 1995, albeit partially, and the following year carried out the project for a small professional army. Between 1996 and 1997moreover, the government was forced to review its extremely liberal policy towards soft drugs, also in response to the protests made by many countries of the European Union calling for greater control of drug trafficking. The political elections of May 1998 saw the success of Labor, which rose from 37 to 45 seats, and of the Liberals (from 31 to 38 seats). The Christian Democrats continued to lose positions from 34 seats in 1994 to 29, while the D 66 also lost 10 seats. A party born in 1991from an alliance between small parties of the left, radicals, social-pacifists, communists, with the name of Groen Links, it achieved some success, going from 4 seats won in 1995 to 11 in 1998. The new ministry, which took office in August 1998, was made up of the same coalition that had governed since August 1994, made up of Labor (PvdA), Liberals (VVD) and D 66. The provincial elections for the Upper House, which were held in March 1998 at the end of an electoral campaign that had highlighted internal divisions and conflicts within the majority, they had registered the defeat of the governing parties and the success of the CDA and Groen Links.

Netherlands 2000