Europe :: Netherlands
  • Introduction :: Netherlands
  • Background:

    The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830, Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered German invasion and occupation in World War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU) and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999. In October 2010, the former Netherlands Antilles was dissolved and the three smallest islands - Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba - became special municipalities in the Netherlands administrative structure. The larger islands of Sint Maarten and Curacao joined the Netherlands and Aruba as constituent countries forming the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

    In February 2018, the Sint Eustatius island council (governing body) was dissolved and replaced by a government commissioner to restore the integrity of public administration. According to the Dutch Government, the intervention will be as "short as possible and as long as needed."

  • Geography :: Netherlands
  • Location:
    Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany
    Geographic coordinates:
    52 30 N, 5 45 E
    Map references:
    total: 41,543 sq km
    land: 33,893 sq km
    water: 7,650 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 135
    Area - comparative:
    slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries:
    total: 1,053 km
    border countries (2): Belgium 478 km, Germany 575 km
    451 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    contiguous zone: 24 nm
    exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
    temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters
    mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast
    mean elevation: 30 m
    lowest point: Zuidplaspolder -7 m
    highest point: Mount Scenery (on the island of Saba in the Caribbean, now considered an integral part of the Netherlands following the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles) 862 m
    note: the highest point on continental Netherlands is Vaalserberg at 322 m
    Natural resources:
    natural gas, petroleum, peat, limestone, salt, sand and gravel, arable land
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 55.1% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 29.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 1.1% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 24.2% (2011 est.)
    forest: 10.8% (2011 est.)
    other: 34.1% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    4,860 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    an area known as the Randstad, anchored by the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague, and Utrecht, is the most densely populated region; the north tends to be less dense, though sizeable communities can be found throughout the entire country
    Natural hazards:


    volcanism: Mount Scenery (887 m), located on the island of Saba in the Caribbean, last erupted in 1640;; Round Hill (601 m), a dormant volcano also known as The Quill, is located on the island of St. Eustatius in the Caribbean;; these islands are at the northern end of the volcanic island arc of the Lesser Antilles that extends south to Grenada

    Environment - current issues:
    water and air pollution are significant environmental problems; pollution of the country's rivers from industrial and agricultural chemicals, including heavy metals, organic compounds, nitrates, and phosphates; air pollution from vehicles and refining activities
    Environment - international agreements:
    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note:
    located at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Schelde); about a quarter of the country lies below sea level and only about half of the land exceeds one meter above sea level
  • People and Society :: Netherlands
  • Population:
    17,280,397 (July 2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    noun: Dutchman(men), Dutchwoman(women)
    adjective: Dutch
    Ethnic groups:
    Dutch 76.9%, EU 6.4%, Turkish 2.4%, Moroccan 2.3%, Indonesian 2.1%, German 2.1%, Surinamese 2%, Polish 1%, other 4.8% (2018 est.)
    Dutch (official)

    note: Frisian is an official language in Fryslan province; Frisian, Low Saxon, Limburgish, Romani, and Yiddish have protected status under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages; Dutch is the official language of the three special municipalities of the Caribbean Netherlands; English is a recognized regional language on Sint Eustatius and Saba; Papiamento is a recognized regional language on Bonaire

    Roman Catholic 23.6%, Protestant 14.9% (includes Dutch Reformed 6.4%, Protestant Church of The Netherlands 5.6%, Calvinist 2.9%), Muslim 5.1%, other 5.6% (includes Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish), none 50.7% (2017 est.)
    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 16.11% (male 1,425,547/female 1,358,894)
    15-24 years: 11.91% (male 1,049,000/female 1,008,763)
    25-54 years: 38.47% (male 3,334,064/female 3,313,238)
    55-64 years: 13.69% (male 1,177,657/female 1,188,613)
    65 years and over: 19.82% (male 1,558,241/female 1,866,380) (2020 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 55.6
    youth dependency ratio: 24.4
    elderly dependency ratio: 31.2
    potential support ratio: 3.2 (2020 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 42.8 years
    male: 41.6 years
    female: 44 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Population growth rate:
    0.37% (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    Birth rate:
    11 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 179
    Death rate:
    9.2 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 56
    Net migration rate:
    1.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Population distribution:
    an area known as the Randstad, anchored by the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague, and Utrecht, is the most densely populated region; the north tends to be less dense, though sizeable communities can be found throughout the entire country
    urban population: 92.2% of total population (2020)
    rate of urbanization: 0.74% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    1.149 million AMSTERDAM (capital), 1.010 million Rotterdam (2020)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.83 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    29.6 years (2015 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    5 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 169
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 3.5 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 3.7 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 199
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 81.7 years
    male: 79.5 years
    female: 84.1 years (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Total fertility rate:
    1.77 children born/woman (2020 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    73% (2013)

    note: percent of women aged 18-45

    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 100% of population
    rural: 100% of population
    total: 100% of population
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population
    rural: 0% of population
    total: 0% of population (2017 est.)
    Current Health Expenditure:
    10.1% (2017)
    Physicians density:
    3.61 physicians/1,000 population (2017)
    Hospital bed density:
    3.3 beds/1,000 population (2017)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 97.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 99.9% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 97.7% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 2.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 0.1% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 2.3% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    0.2% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    23,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    100 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    20.4% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    Education expenditures:
    5.5% of GDP (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 18 years
    male: 18 years
    female: 18 years (2016)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 7.2%
    male: 7.7%
    female: 6.6% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
  • Government :: Netherlands
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands
    conventional short form: Netherlands
    local long form: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
    local short form: Nederland
    abbreviation: NL
    etymology: the country name literally means "the lowlands" and refers to the geographic features of the land being both flat and down river from higher areas (i.e., at the estuaries of the Scheldt, Meuse, and Rhine Rivers; only about half of the Netherlands is more than 1 meter above sea level)
    Government type:
    parliamentary constitutional monarchy; part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
    name: Amsterdam; note - The Hague is the seat of government
    geographic coordinates: 52 21 N, 4 55 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

    note: time descriptions apply to the continental Netherlands only, for the constituent countries in the Caribbean, the time difference is UTC-4

    etymology: the original Dutch name, Amstellerdam, meaning "a dam on the Amstel River," dates to the 13th century; over time the name simplified to Amsterdam

    Administrative divisions:
    12 provinces (provincies, singular - provincie), 3 public entities* (openbare lichamen, singular - openbaar lichaam (Dutch); entidatnan publiko, singular - entidat publiko (Papiamento)); Bonaire*, Drenthe, Flevoland, Fryslan (Friesland), Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant (North Brabant), Noord-Holland (North Holland), Overijssel, Saba*, Sint Eustatius*, Utrecht, Zeeland (Zealand), Zuid-Holland (South Holland)

    note 1: the Netherlands is one of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the other three, Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten, are all islands in the Caribbean; while all four parts are considered equal partners, in practice, most of the Kingdom's affairs are administered by the Netherlands, which makes up about 98% of the Kingdom's total land area and population

    note 2: although Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are officially incorporated into the country of the Netherlands under the broad designation of "public entities," Dutch Government sources regularly apply to them the more descriptive term of "special municipalities"; Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are collectively referred to as the Caribbean Netherlands

    Dependent areas:
    Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten
    23 January 1579 (the northern provinces of the Low Countries conclude the Union of Utrecht breaking with Spain; on 26 July 1581, they formally declared their independence with an Act of Abjuration; however, it was not until 30 January 1648 and the Peace of Westphalia that Spain recognized this independence)
    National holiday:
    King's Day (birthday of King WILLEM-ALEXANDER), 27 April (1967); note - King's or Queen's Day are observed on the ruling monarch's birthday; currently celebrated on 26 April if 27 April is a Sunday
    history: previous 1597, 1798; latest adopted 24 August 1815 (substantially revised in 1848)
    amendments: proposed as an Act of Parliament by or on behalf of the king or by the Second Chamber of the States General; the Second Chamber is dissolved after its first reading of the Act; passage requires a second reading by both the First Chamber and the newly elected Second Chamber, followed by at least two-thirds majority vote of both chambers, and ratification by the king; amended many times, last in 2010
    International law organization participation:
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Netherlands
    dual citizenship recognized: no
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    18 years of age; universal
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: King WILLEM-ALEXANDER (since 30 April 2013); Heir Apparent Princess Catharina-Amalia (daughter of King WILLEM-ALEXANDER, born 7 December 2003)
    head of government: Prime Minister Mark RUTTE (since 14 October 2010; Deputy Prime Ministers (since 26 October 2017) Hugo DE JONGE, Karin Kajsa OLLONGREN, and Carola SCHOUTEN (since 26 October 2017); note - Mark RUTTE heads his third cabinet put in place since 26 October 2017
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
    elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; following Second Chamber elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; deputy prime ministers are appointed by the monarch
    Legislative branch:
    description: bicameral States General or Staten Generaal consists of:
    First Chamber or Eerste Kamer (75 seats; members indirectly elected by the country's 12 provincial council members by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    Second Chamber or Tweede Kamer (150 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve up to 4-year terms)
    First Chamber - last held on 27 May 2019 (next to be held on NA May 2023)
    Second Chamber - last held on 15 March 2017 (next to be held 15 March 2021)
    election results:
    First Chamber - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - FvD 12, VVD 12, CDA 9, GL 8, D66 7, MvdA 6, PVV 5, SP 4, CU 4, other 8; composition - men 49, women 26, percent of women 34.7%
    Second Chamber - percent of vote by party - VVD 21.3%, PVV 13.1%, CDA 12.4%, D66 12.2%, GL 9.1%, SP 9.1%, PvdA 5.7%, CU 3.4%, PvdD 3.2%, 50 Plus 3.1%, other 7.4%; seats by party - VVD 33, PVV 20, CDA 19, D66 19, GL 14, SP 14, PvdA 9, CU 5, PvdD 5, 50 Plus 4, other 8; composition - men 96, women 54, percent of women 36%; note - total States General percent of women 35.6%
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court or Hoge Raad (consists of 41 judges: the president, 6 vice presidents, 31 justices or raadsheren, and 3 justices in exceptional service, referred to as buitengewone dienst); the court is divided into criminal, civil, tax, and ombuds chambers
    judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the monarch from a list provided by the Second Chamber of the States General; justices appointed for life or until mandatory retirement at age 70
    subordinate courts: courts of appeal; district courts, each with up to 5 subdistrict courts; Netherlands Commercial Court
    Political parties and leaders:
    Christian Democratic Appeal or CDA [Sybrand VAN HAERSMA BUMA]
    Christian Union or CU [Gert-Jan SEGERS]
    Democrats 66 or D66 [Rob JETTEN]
    Denk [Tunahan KUZU]
    50 Plus [Henk KROL]
    Forum for Democracy or FvD [Thierry BAUDET]
    Green Left or GL [Jesse KLAVER]
    Labor Party or PvdA [Lodewijk ASSCHER]
    Party for Freedom or PVV [Geert WILDERS]
    Party for the Animals or PvdD [Marianne THIEME]
    People's Party for Freedom and Democracy or VVD [Mark RUTTE]
    Reformed Political Party or SGP [Kees VAN DER STAAIJ]
    Socialist Party or SP [Emile ROEMER]
    plus a few minor parties
    International organization participation:
    ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CBSS (observer), CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNRWA, UN Security Council (temporary), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    Ambassador Andre HASPELS (since 16 September 2019)
    chancery: 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 244-5300, [1] 877-388-2443
    FAX: [1] (202) 362-3430
    consulate(s) general: Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Peter HOEKSTRA (since 10 January 2018)
    telephone: [31] (70) 310-2209
    embassy: John Adams Park 1, 2244 BZ Wassenaar
    mailing address: PSC 71, Box 1000, APO AE 09715
    FAX: [31] (70) 310-2207
    consulate(s) general: Amsterdam
    Flag description:
    three equal horizontal bands of red (bright vermilion; top), white, and blue (cobalt); similar to the flag of Luxembourg, which uses a lighter blue and is longer; the colors were derived from those of WILLIAM I, Prince of Orange, who led the Dutch Revolt against Spanish sovereignty in the latter half of the 16th century; originally the upper band was orange, but because its dye tended to turn red over time, the red shade was eventually made the permanent color; the banner is perhaps the oldest tricolor in continuous use
    National symbol(s):
    lion, tulip; national color: orange
    National anthem:
    name: "Het Wilhelmus" (The William)
    lyrics/music: Philips VAN MARNIX van Sint Aldegonde (presumed)/unknown

    note: adopted 1932, in use since the 17th century, making it the oldest national anthem in the world; also known as "Wilhelmus van Nassouwe" (William of Nassau), it is in the form of an acrostic, where the first letter of each stanza spells the name of the leader of the Dutch Revolt

  • Economy :: Netherlands
  • Economy - overview:

    The Netherlands, the sixth-largest economy in the European Union, plays an important role as a European transportation hub, with a consistently high trade surplus, stable industrial relations, and low unemployment. Industry focuses on food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs only 2% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for food-processing and underpins the country’s status as the world’s second largest agricultural exporter.

    The Netherlands is part of the euro zone, and as such, its monetary policy is controlled by the European Central Bank. The Dutch financial sector is highly concentrated, with four commercial banks possessing over 80% of banking assets, and is four times the size of Dutch GDP.

    In 2008, during the financial crisis, the government budget deficit hit 5.3% of GDP. Following a protracted recession from 2009 to 2013, during which unemployment doubled to 7.4% and household consumption contracted for four consecutive years, economic growth began inching forward in 2014. Since 2010, Prime Minister Mark RUTTE’s government has implemented significant austerity measures to improve public finances and has instituted broad structural reforms in key policy areas, including the labor market, the housing sector, the energy market, and the pension system. In 2017, the government budget returned to a surplus of 0.7% of GDP, with economic growth of 3.2%, and GDP per capita finally surpassed pre-crisis levels. The fiscal policy announced by the new government in the 2018-2021 coalition plans for increases in government consumption and public investment, fueling domestic demand and household consumption and investment. The new government’s policy also plans to increase demand for workers in the public and private sector, forecasting a further decline in the unemployment rate, which hit 4.8% in 2017.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $924.4 billion (2017 est.)
    $898.6 billion (2016 est.)
    $879.4 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 27
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $832.2 billion (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    2.9% (2017 est.)
    2.2% (2016 est.)
    2% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $53,900 (2017 est.)
    $52,800 (2016 est.)
    $51,900 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 23
    Gross national saving:
    31.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
    28.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
    28.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 44.3% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 24.2% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 20.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.2% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 83% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -72.3% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 1.6% (2017 est.)
    industry: 17.9% (2017 est.)
    services: 70.2% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    vegetables, ornamentals, dairy, poultry and livestock products; propagation materials
    agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing
    Industrial production growth rate:
    3.3% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    Labor force:
    7.969 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 1.2%
    industry: 17.2%
    services: 81.6% (2015 est.)
    Unemployment rate:
    4.9% (2017 est.)
    6% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 69
    Population below poverty line:
    8.8% (2015 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 2.3%
    highest 10%: 24.9% (2014 est.)
    revenues: 361.4 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 352.4 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    43.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 27
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Public debt:
    56.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
    61.3% of GDP (2016 est.)

    note: data cover general government debt and include debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intragovernmental debt; intragovernmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment, debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions

    country comparison to the world: 78
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    1.3% (2017 est.)
    0.1% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    Current account balance:
    $87.46 billion (2017 est.)
    $62.92 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    $555.6 billion (2017 est.)
    $495.4 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Exports - partners:
    Germany 24.2%, Belgium 10.7%, UK 8.8%, France 8.8%, Italy 4.2% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, mineral fuels; food and livestock, manufactured goods
    $453.8 billion (2017 est.)
    $402.9 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Imports - commodities:
    machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs, clothing
    Imports - partners:
    China 16.4%, Germany 15.3%, Belgium 8.5%, US 6.9%, UK 5.1%, Russia 4.3% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $38.44 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $38.21 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    Debt - external:
    $4.063 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    $4.054 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Exchange rates:
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.885 (2017 est.)
    0.903 (2016 est.)
    0.9214 (2015 est.)
    0.885 (2014 est.)
    0.7634 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Netherlands
  • Electricity access:
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production:
    109.3 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    Electricity - consumption:
    108.8 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Electricity - exports:
    19.34 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Electricity - imports:
    24.26 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    34.17 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 29
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    75% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    1% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    23% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Crude oil - production:
    18,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    Crude oil - exports:
    7,984 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 62
    Crude oil - imports:
    1.094 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    81.13 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    1.282 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    954,500 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    2.406 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    2.148 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 3
    Natural gas - production:
    45.33 billion cu m (2017 est.)

    note: the Netherlands has curbed gas production due to seismic activity in the province of Groningen, largest source of gas reserves

    country comparison to the world: 17
    Natural gas - consumption:
    43.38 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Natural gas - exports:
    51.25 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 8
    Natural gas - imports:
    51 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    801.4 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    250.2 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
  • Communications :: Netherlands
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 5.9 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 34 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 26
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 21.108 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 123 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    Telecommunication systems:
    general assessment: highly developed and well maintained; while fixed-line voice market is in decline the VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) and mobile platforms advance; one of the highest fixed broadband penetration rates in the world, due to government investments; plans for 3G network shutdown in 2022; operators are concentrating investment on LTE-A and 5G services; MNOs and banks launch m-payments system (2020)
    domestic: extensive fixed-line, fiber-optic network; large cellular telephone system with five major operators utilizing the third generation of the Global System for Mobile Communications technology; one in five households now use Voice over the Internet Protocol services; fixed-line 34 per 100 and mobile-cellular 123 per 100 persons (2018)
    international: country code - 31; landing points for Farland North, TAT-14, Circe North, Concerto, Ulysses 2, AC-1, UK-Netherlands 14, and COBRAcable submarine cables which provide links to the US and Europe; satellite earth stations - 5 (3 Intelsat - 1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean, 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat) (2019)
    the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
    Broadcast media:
    more than 90% of households are connected to cable or satellite TV systems that provide a wide range of domestic and foreign channels; public service broadcast system includes multiple broadcasters, 3 with a national reach and the remainder operating in regional and local markets; 2 major nationwide commercial television companies, each with 3 or more stations, and many commercial TV stations in regional and local markets; nearly 600 radio stations with a mix of public and private stations providing national or regional coverage
    Internet country code:
    Internet users:
    total: 15,385,203
    percent of population: 90.4% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 7,406,700
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 43 (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
  • Military and Security :: Netherlands
  • Military expenditures:
    1.36% of GDP (2019 est.)
    1.21% of GDP (2018)
    1.15% of GDP (2017)
    1.16% of GDP (2016)
    1.13% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Military and security forces:
    Royal Netherlands Army, Royal Netherlands Navy (includes Naval Air Service and Marine Corps), Royal Netherlands Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht, KLu), Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (Military Constabulary) (2019)
    note: the Netherlands Coast Guard and the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard are civilian in nature, but managed by the Royal Netherlands Navy
    Military service age and obligation:
    17 years of age for an all-volunteer force (2016)
    Military and security service personnel strengths:
    the Netherlands Armed Forces have approximately 41,000 active duty personnel (19,000 Army; 8,500 Navy; 8,000 Air Force; 5,900 Constabulary) (2019 est.)
    Military equipment inventories and acquisitions:
    the inventory of the Netherlands Armed Forces consists of a mix of domestically-produced and modern European- and US-sourced equipment; since 2010, the US is the leading supplier of weapons systems to the Netherlands, followed by Germany, Italy, and Sweden; the Netherlands has an advanced domestic defense industry that focuses on armored vehicles, naval ships, and air defense systems; it also participates with the US and other European countries on joint development and production of advanced weapons systems (2019)
    Military deployments:
    160 Afghanistan (NATO); 270 Lithuania (NATO) (June 2020)
  • Transportation :: Netherlands
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 8 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 244 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 34,870,204 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 5,292,794,685 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    PH (2016)
    29 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 23 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 11 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 6 (2017)
    under 914 m: 2 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 6 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 4 (2013)
    under 914 m: 2 (2013)
    1 (2013)
    14000 km gas, 2500 km oil and refined products, 3000 km chemicals (2016)
    total: 3,058 km (2016)
    standard gauge: 3,058 km 1.435-m gauge (2,314 km electrified) (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    total: 139,124 km (includes 3,654 km of expressways) (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    6,237 km (navigable by ships up to 50 tons) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    Merchant marine:
    total: 1,217
    by type: bulk carrier 13, container ship 43, general cargo 568, oil tanker 22, other 571 (2019)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): IJmuiden, Vlissingen
    container port(s) (TEUs): Rotterdam (13,734,000) (2017)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Rotterdam
    river port(s): Amsterdam (Nordsee Kanaal); Moerdijk (Hollands Diep River); Rotterdam (Rhine River); Terneuzen (Western Scheldt River)
  • Transnational Issues :: Netherlands
  • Disputes - international:


    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    refugees (country of origin): 32,092 (Syria), 15,478 (Somalia), 14,931 (Eritrea), 9,259 (Iraq), 6,267 (Afghanistan) (2017)
    stateless persons: 1,951 (2018)
    Illicit drugs:
    major European producer of synthetic drugs, including ecstasy, and cannabis cultivator; important gateway for cocaine, heroin, and hashish entering Europe; major source of US-bound ecstasy and a significant consumer of ecstasy; a large financial sector vulnerable to money laundering