Netherlands Country Overview

By | November 17, 2021

The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy in northwestern Europe with the capital Amsterdam. The seat of government is The Hague. Due to its location on the North Sea, the country has a temperate maritime climate. A quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level, large parts of it were reclaimed wrested from the sea. Due to its location, the country is therefore always threatened by flooding. The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Almost half of the total population lives in the west of the country, in the Randstad metropolitan area. The most widespread religious community in the Netherlands is Christianity, but just over half of the population does not belong to any religion. In the 17th century, the Netherlands was one of the most important colonial powers in the world. A large number of immigrants came from the former Dutch colonies, with the Surinamans making up the largest group. Today more than 180 different nationalities live in the country. The Frisian ethnic group (Frisians) is recognized as a national minority. The Netherlands traditionally values ​​tolerance towards other cultures and religions. You have always been a country of minorities – this in turn promotes cooperation between the political forces. The comparatively affluent country has a strong economy. As an export nation, the Netherlands is particularly closely linked to the global economy. Important export products include foodstuffs and machines. Transport over water is still an important pillar of the Dutch economy today. Two of the largest ports in Europe are located in the country: the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The Netherlands belongs to the Benelux countries and is a founding member of NATO and the EU.

  • Netherlands is a country starting with N. Check COUNTRYAAH to find other countries that also begin with letter N.

Country facts

  • Official name: Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • License plate: NL
  • ISO-3166: NL, NLD (528)
  • Internet
  • Currency: 1 euro (€) = 100 cents
  • Area: 41,540 km²
  • Population (2018): 17.2 million
  • Capital: Amsterdam
  • Official language (s): Dutch; regional Frisian
  • Form of government: Parliamentary monarchy
  • Seat of government: The Hague
  • Administrative division: 12 provinces
  • Head of State: King Willem-Alexander
  • Prime Minister: Mark Rutte
  • Religion (s) (2017): Christians (23.6% Catholics, 14.9% Protestants); 50.7% non-denominational
  • Time zone: Central European Time
  • National holiday: April 27th

Location and infrastructure

  • Location (geographical): Western Europe
  • Position (coordinates): between 50 ° 46 ‘and 53 ° 32’ north latitude and 3 ° 23 ‘and 7 ° 12’ east longitude
  • Climate: temperate maritime climate
  • Highest mountain: Vaalserberg (322 m)
  • Road network (2016): 139 100 km
  • Railway network (2016): 3,058 km


  • Annual population growth (2018): 0.4%
  • Birth rate (2018): 10.9 per 1000 residents.
  • Death rate (2018): 9 per 1000 residents.
  • Average age (2018): 42.7 years
  • Average life expectancy (2018): 81.5 years (men 79.3; women 83.8)
  • Age structure (2018): 16.3% younger than 15 years, 19.1% older than 65 years
  • Literacy rate (15 year olds and older): k. A.
  • Mobile phone contracts (pre-paid and post-paid) (2017): 121.0 per 100 pop.
  • Internet users (2017): 93 per 100 residents.


  • GDP per capita (2017): US $ 48,555
  • Total GDP (2017): US $ 832 billion
  • GNI per capita (2017): US $ 46,180 billion
  • Education expenditure (2014): 5.5% of GDP
  • Military expenditure (2018): 1.2% of GDP
  • Unemployment rate (15 years and older) (2018): 3.8%



The Netherlands borders the North Sea to the west and north, Germany to the east and Belgium to the south.

The North German lowlands continue in the Netherlands. The coast is lined with dunes (up to 60 m height), which in the area of Frisian Islands through the mud flats (Waddenzee are separated) from the mainland. Further inland there are diked sea and river marshes (polders) (up to 6 m below sea level) and the flat, undulating, sandy-boggy geest, which reaches 110 m above sea level. Pumps (formerly operated by windmills) drain the marshes. In the extreme south-east, the Netherlands has a share of the Lössbörde and the low mountain range with the highest point in the Netherlands, 322 m above sea level.

The main rivers are the Rhine and the Meuse, whose estuary is divided into numerous islands. Most of the river network is diked, canalized and closed against the sea with sluices. The coast, which is strongly indented in the south, is partly offset by dams (delta works). Dollart and Westerschelde remain open to the sea, the Oosterschelde received a storm surge barrier in 1986. The completion of the damming of the IJsselmeer (1932) and the Lauwersmeer (1969) as well as the delta works serve to enlarge and secure the Dutch land area. The latter is mainly used by the storm surge barrier in the Nieuwe Waterweg which was completed in 1997.


The climate is temperate maritime; westerly winds prevail. The average rainfall is between 620 and 850 mm per year. The summer temperatures are low, the average temperature in July / August is 17 ° C. There are few ice days. The ports remain ice-free.


The natural vegetation is hardly preserved. The sandy soils of the Geest originally had birch-oak forests, which are now degraded to heather (partly reforested with pines). Deciduous beech and oak forests are mainly found in the Utrecht ridge and in parts of North Brabant and Drenthe. In addition, there are the specific plant communities of the tidal flats and dune regions, the polderland (fat meadows, pastures) as well as the flat moors, lakes and raised moors.

Netherlands Country Overview