Photos of Netherlands



The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1581; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After 18 years of French domination, the Netherlands regained its independence in 1813.  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."

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany

Geographic coordinates

52 31 N, 5 46 E


total: 41,543 sq km

land: 33,893 sq km

water: 7,650 sq km

comparison ranking: total 134

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


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

lowest point: Zuidplaspolder -7 m

mean elevation: 30 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% (2018 est.)

arable land: 29.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 24.2% (2018 est.)

forest: 10.8% (2018 est.)

other: 34.1% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

2,969 sq km (2019)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Rijn (Rhine) river mouth (shared with Switzerland [s], Germany, and France) - 1,233 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Rhine-Maas (198,735 sq km)

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

Geography - note

located at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine (Rijn), Meuse (Maas), and Scheldt (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


17,463,930 (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 71


noun: Dutchman(men), Dutchwoman(women)

adjective: Dutch

Ethnic groups

Dutch 75.4%, EU (excluding Dutch) 6.4%, Turkish 2.4%, Moroccan 2.4%, Surinamese 2.1%, Indonesian 2%, other 9.3% (2021 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

major-language sample(s):
Het Wereld Feitenboek, een onmisbare bron van informatie. (Dutch)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.


Roman Catholic 20.1%, Protestant 14.8% (includes Dutch Reformed, Protestant Church of The Netherlands, Calvinist), Muslim 5%, other 5.9% (includes Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish), none 54.1% (2019 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 16.06% (male 1,436,601/female 1,368,697)

15-64 years: 63.08% (male 5,532,490/female 5,483,034)

65 years and over: 20.86% (2023 est.) (male 1,658,652/female 1,984,456)

2023 population pyramid:
2023 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 54.9

youth dependency ratio: 24

elderly dependency ratio: 30.9

potential support ratio: 3.2 (2021 est.)

Median age

total: 42.2 years (2023 est.)

male: 41 years

female: 43.4 years

comparison ranking: total 43

Population growth rate

0.48% (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 155

Birth rate

10.5 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 178

Death rate

9.7 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 41

Net migration rate

4.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 31

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: 93.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.59% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Major urban areas - population

1.174 million AMSTERDAM (capital), 1.018 million Rotterdam (2023)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

30.2 years (2020 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

4 deaths/100,000 live births (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 174

Infant mortality rate

total: 3.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 4 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births

comparison ranking: total 193

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 81.7 years (2023 est.)

male: 80.1 years

female: 83.3 years

comparison ranking: total population 39

Total fertility rate

1.61 children born/woman (2023 est.)

comparison ranking: 180

Gross reproduction rate

0.78 (2023 est.)

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 (2020 est.)

Current health expenditure

11.1% of GDP (2020)

Physicians density

4.08 physicians/1,000 population (2020)

Hospital bed density

3.2 beds/1,000 population (2018)

Sanitation facility access

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 (2020 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

20.4% (2016)

comparison ranking: 99

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 8.23 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 3.95 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 2.92 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 1.36 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total 40

Tobacco use

total: 22.2% (2020 est.)

male: 24.4% (2020 est.)

female: 19.9% (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 70

Education expenditures

5.3% of GDP (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: 64


total population: NA

male: NA

female: NA

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 19 years

male: 18 years

female: 19 years (2020)


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-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Multi-effect Protocol, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Marine Dumping-London Protocol, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters

Land use

agricultural land: 55.1% (2018 est.)

arable land: 29.8% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 1.1% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 24.2% (2018 est.)

forest: 10.8% (2018 est.)

other: 34.1% (2018 est.)


urban population: 93.2% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 0.59% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

total population growth rate v. urban population growth rate, 2000-2030

Revenue from forest resources

0.01% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 156

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 160

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 10.74 micrograms per cubic meter (2019 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 170.78 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 17.79 megatons (2020 est.)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 8.855 million tons (2015 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 2,179,216 tons (2015 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 24.6% (2015 est.)

Major rivers (by length in km)

Rijn (Rhine) river mouth (shared with Switzerland [s], Germany, and France) - 1,233 km
note – [s] after country name indicates river source; [m] after country name indicates river mouth

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Atlantic Ocean drainage: Rhine-Maas (198,735 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 2.05 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

industrial: 5.94 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)

agricultural: 31 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

Total renewable water resources

91 billion cubic meters (2020 est.)


total global geoparks and regional networks: 2 (2024)

global geoparks and regional networks: De Hondsrug; Schelde Delta (includes Belgium) (2024)


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

time zone 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


26 July 1581 (the northern provinces of the Low Countries 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 is observed on the ruling monarch's birthday; currently celebrated on 26 April if 27 April is a Sunday


history: many previous to adoption of the "Basic Law of the Kingdom of the Netherlands" on 24 August 1815; revised 8 times, the latest in 1983

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 2018

Legal system

civil law system based on the French system; constitution does not permit judicial review of acts of the States General

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 Sigrid KAAG and Wopke HOEKSTRA (since 10 January 2022), Carola SCHOUTEN (since 26 October 2017); note - Mark RUTTE's ruling coalition collapsed on 8 July 2023; he is serving as prime minister in a caretaker status until a new prime minister is named following the 22 November 2023

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:
Senate 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)
House of Representatives or Tweede Kamer (150 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by open-list proportional representation vote to serve up to 4-year terms)

Senate - last held on 30 May 2023 (next to be held in May 2027)
House of Representatives - last held on 22 November 2023 (next to be held on 30 November 2027)

election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - BBB 21.3%, VVD 13.3%, GL 9.3%, PvdA 9.3%, CDA 8.0%, D66 6.7%, PVV 5.3%, SP 4%, CU 4%, PvdD 4%, JA21 4%, Volt 2.7%, SGP 2.7%,  FvD 2.7%, other 2.6%; seats by party - BBB 16, VVD 10, GL 7, PvdA 7, CDA 6, D66 5, PVV 4, SP 3, CU 3, PvdD 3, JA21 3, Volt 2, SGP 2, FvD 2 other 2; composition as of February 2024 - men 45, women 30, percentage women 40%

House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - PVV 23.6%, GL/PvdA 15.5%, VVD 15.2%, NSC 12.8%, D66 6.2%, BBB 4.7%, CDA 3.3%, SP 3.1%, Denk 2.4%, FvD 2.2%, PvdD 2.3%, CU 2.1%, SGP 2.2%, other 6.4%; seats by party - PVV 37, GL/PvdA 25, VVD 24, NSC 20, D66 9, BBB 7, CDA 5, SP 5, Denk 3, PvdD 3, CU 3, FvD 3, SGP 3, other 6; composition as of February 2024 - men 91, women 58, percentage women 38.7%; total States General percentage women 39.3%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): 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 House of Representatives 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 [Henri BONTENBAI]
Christian Union or CU [Mirjam BIKKER]
Correct Answer 2021 or JA21 [Joost EEDERMANS]
Democrats 66 or D66 [Rob JETTEN]
Denk [Stephan van BAARLE]
Farmer-Citizen Movement or BBB [Caroline van der PLAS]
50Plus [Martin van ROOIJEN]
Forum for Democracy or FvD [Thierry BAUDET]
Green Left (GroenLinks) or GL [Jesse KLAVER]
Labor Party or PvdA [Attje KUIKEN]
New Social Contract or NSC [Pieter OMTZIGT]
Party for Freedom or PVV [Geert WILDERS]
Party for the Animals or PvdD [Esther OUWENHAND]
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy or VVD [Dilan YESILGOZ]
Reformed Political Party or SGP [Chris STOFFER]
Socialist Party or SP [Lilian MARIJNISSEN]
Together or BIJ1 [Edson OLF]
Volt Netherlands or Volt [Laurens DASSEN]

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, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNHRC, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNOOSA, UNRWA, UN Security Council (temporary), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Birgitta TAZELAAR (since 15 September 2023)

chancery: 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 244-5300

FAX: [1] (202) 362-3430

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Shefali RAZDAN DUGGAL (since 19 October 2022)

embassy: John Adams Park 1, 2244 BZ Wassenaar

mailing address: 5780 Amsterdam Place, Washington DC  20521-5780

telephone: [31] (70) 310-2209

FAX: [31] (70) 310-2207

email address and website:

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

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 13 (12 cultural, 1 natural); note - includes one site in Curacao

selected World Heritage Site locales: Schokland and Surroundings (c); Dutch Water Defense Lines (c); Van Nellefabriek (c); Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout (c); Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) (c); Rietveld Schröderhuis (Rietveld Schröder House) (c); Wadden Sea (n); Seventeenth Century Canal Ring Area of Amsterdam inside the Singelgracht (c); Colonies of Benevolence (c); Frontiers of the Roman Empire - The Lower German Limes (c)


Economic overview

high-income European economy; core EU member; chemical, oil, and machinery exporter; some age-based income inequality; substantial amount of independent contractor employees; manageable public debt; key international aid funder.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$1.049 trillion (2022 est.)
$1.005 trillion (2021 est.)
$946.637 billion (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 28

Real GDP growth rate

4.33% (2022 est.)
6.19% (2021 est.)
-3.89% (2020 est.)

note: annual GDP % growth based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 98

Real GDP per capita

$59,200 (2022 est.)
$57,300 (2021 est.)
$54,300 (2020 est.)

note: data in 2017 dollars

comparison ranking: 18

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.009 trillion (2022 est.)

note: data in current dollars at official exchange rate

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

10% (2022 est.)
2.68% (2021 est.)
1.27% (2020 est.)

note: annual % change based on consumer prices

comparison ranking: 159

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: AAA (1994)

Moody's rating: Aaa (1986)

Standard & Poors rating: AAA (2015)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 1.6% (2017 est.)

industry: 17.9% (2017 est.)

services: 70.2% (2017 est.)

comparison rankings: services 67; industry 163; agriculture 185

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.)

Agricultural products

milk, potatoes, sugar beets, pork, onions, wheat, poultry, tomatoes, carrots/turnips, beef


agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing

Industrial production growth rate

2.84% (2022 est.)

note: annual % change in industrial value added based on constant local currency

comparison ranking: 119

Labor force

9.794 million (2022 est.)

note: number of people ages 15 or older who are employed or seeking work

comparison ranking: 55

Unemployment rate

3.52% (2022 est.)
4.21% (2021 est.)
3.82% (2020 est.)

note: % of labor force seeking employment

comparison ranking: 57

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 9.6% (2021 est.)

male: 10%

female: 9.2%

comparison ranking: total 157

Population below poverty line

14.5% (2021 est.)

note: % of population with income below national poverty line

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

26 (2020 est.)

note: index (0-100) of income distribution; higher values represent greater inequality

comparison ranking: 170

Average household expenditures

on food: 11.4% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

on alcohol and tobacco: 3.3% of household expenditures (2018 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.6%

highest 10%: 21.6% (2020 est.)

note: % share of income accruing to lowest and highest 10% of population


0.23% of GDP (2022 est.)
0.22% of GDP (2021 est.)
0.23% of GDP (2020 est.)

note: personal transfers and compensation between resident and non-resident individuals/households/entities


revenues: $396.687 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $374.166 billion (2019 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

1.1% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 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

comparison ranking: 86

Taxes and other revenues

24.35% (of GDP) (2021 est.)

note: central government tax revenue as a % of GDP

comparison ranking: 56

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

$93.836 billion (2022 est.)
$124.924 billion (2021 est.)
$46.849 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - net trade and primary/secondary income in current dollars

comparison ranking: 6


$944.421 billion (2022 est.)
$865.094 billion (2021 est.)
$712.412 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - exports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 6

Exports - partners

Germany 20%, Belgium 12%, United Kingdom 9%, France 7%, United States 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment, packaged medicines, photography equipment, computers (2021)


$835.47 billion (2022 est.)
$749.324 billion (2021 est.)
$620.63 billion (2020 est.)

note: balance of payments - imports of goods and services in current dollars

comparison ranking: 8

Imports - partners

Germany 15%, China 11%, Belgium 9%, United States 8%, Russia 7%, United Kingdom 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

crude petroleum, refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment, computers, cars (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$63.353 billion (2022 est.)
$64.469 billion (2021 est.)
$53.971 billion (2020 est.)

note: holdings of gold (year-end prices)/foreign exchange/special drawing rights in current dollars

comparison ranking: 45

Debt - external

$4,345,413,000,000 (2019 est.)
$4,625,016,000,000 (2018 est.)

comparison ranking: 5

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
0.95 (2022 est.)
0.845 (2021 est.)
0.876 (2020 est.)
0.893 (2019 est.)
0.847 (2018 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)


installed generating capacity: 43.409 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 109.796 billion kWh (2020 est.)

exports: 22.433 billion kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 19.773 billion kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 5.059 billion kWh (2020 est.)

comparison rankings: transmission/distribution losses 168; imports 11; exports 11; consumption 32; installed generating capacity 29

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 68.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 3.3% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 6.8% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 13.1% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 8.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Nuclear energy

Number of operational nuclear reactors: 1 (2023)

Number of nuclear reactors under construction: 0

Net capacity of operational nuclear reactors: 0.48GW (2023)

Percent of total electricity production: 3.1% (2021)

Percent of total energy produced: 3% (2021)

Number of nuclear reactors permanently shut down: 0


production: 1.879 million metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 8.241 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 20.164 million metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 21.552 million metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 497 million metric tons (2019 est.)


total petroleum production: 76,100 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 915,200 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 8,800 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 1,096,500 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 137.7 million barrels (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

1.282 million bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 17

Refined petroleum products - exports

2.406 million bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 3

Refined petroleum products - imports

2.148 million bbl/day (2017 est.)

comparison ranking: 3

Natural gas

production: 32.858 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 44.753 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 42.827 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

imports: 55.767 billion cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 132.608 billion cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

214.416 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 23.15 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 116.24 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 75.027 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: total emissions 30

Energy consumption per capita

219.606 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

comparison ranking: 19


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 4.57 million (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 29 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 31

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 21.888 million (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 125 (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 59

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: telecom infrastructure in the Netherlands continues to be upgraded as modernization schemes undertaken by telcos make steady progress; other fiber providers have been supported by regulatory measures which have encouraged municipal governments to intervene with telcos’ fiber builds, facilitating open access networks in a bid to make rollouts cheaper, and completed sooner; while the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are also closing down their Global System for Mobile Communication (MSM) and 3G networks and repurposing their spectrum and physical assets for LTE and 5G, the regulator has also encouraged GSM/3G roaming in the interim, thus safeguarding services such as machine to machine and other low data-use applications while individual MNOs disable their own GSM/3G networks; the country has one of the highest fixed broadband penetration rates in the world, with effective cross-platform competition between Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), Hybrid Fiber Coazial (HFC), and fiber networks; in the third quarter of 2020 the number of cable broadband connections fell for the first time, while the DSL segment has long been eclipsed by fiber; by the end of 2021, over a quarter of fixed broadband connections were on fiber infrastructure, while DSL accounted for only about 29%; almost 49% of fixed connections provided data above 100Mb/s, while an additional 43.7% provided data of at least 30Mb/s (2022)

domestic: fixed-line is 29 per 100 and mobile-cellular at 125 per 100 persons (2021)

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)

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 users

total: 16.56 million (2021 est.)

percent of population: 92% (2021 est.)

comparison ranking: total 47

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 7,525,016 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 44 (2020 est.)

comparison ranking: total 29


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 8 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 238

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 43,996,044 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 5,886,510,000 (2018) mt-km


45 (2024)

note: Includes 3 airports in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba

comparison ranking: 93


184 (2024)


14,000 km gas, 2,500 km oil and refined products, 3,000 km chemicals (2017)


total: 3,055 km (2020) 2,310 km electrified

comparison ranking: total 58


total: 139,027 km (2022)

comparison ranking: total 39


6,237 km (2012) (navigable by ships up to 50 tons)

comparison ranking: 23

Merchant marine

total: 1,187 (2023)

by type: bulk carrier 11, container ship 36, general cargo 521, oil tanker 27, other 592

comparison ranking: total 21

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): IJmuiden, Vlissingen

container port(s) (TEUs): Rotterdam (15,300,000) (2021)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Gate (Rotterdam)

river port(s): Amsterdam (Nordsee Kanaal); Moerdijk (Hollands Diep River); Rotterdam (Rhine River); Terneuzen (Western Scheldt River)

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Netherlands (Dutch) Armed Forces (Nederlandse Krijgsmacht): Royal Netherlands Army, Royal Netherlands Navy (includes Marine Corps), Royal Netherlands Air Force, Royal Netherlands Marechaussee (Military Constabulary) (2024)

note 1: the Netherlands Coast Guard and the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard are civilian in nature but managed by the Royal Netherlands Navy

note 2: the national police maintain internal security in the Netherlands and report to the Ministry of Justice and Security, which oversees law enforcement organizations, as do the justice ministries in Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten

Military expenditures

1.6% of GDP (2023 est.)
1.5% of GDP (2022)
1.4% of GDP (2021)
1.4% of GDP (2020)
1.3% of GDP (2019)

comparison ranking: 87

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 48,000 active-duty personnel (20,000 Army; 9,000 Navy; 7,000 Air Force; 7,000 Constabulary; 5,000 other) (2023)

note: the total figures include about 6,000 reservists on active duty; the Navy has about 2,300 marines

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory consists of a mix of domestically produced and modern European- and US-sourced equipment; in recent years, the US has been the leading supplier of weapons systems; 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 (2023)

Military service age and obligation

17 years of age for voluntary service for men and women; the military is an all-volunteer force; conscription remains in place, but the requirement to show up for compulsory military service was suspended in 1997; must be a citizen of the Netherlands (2024)

note: in 2023, women made up about 14% of the military's full-time personnel

Military deployments

350 Lithuania (NATO); 200 Romania (NATO) (2024)

Military - note

the Dutch military is charged with the three core tasks of defending the country’s national territory and that of its allies, enforcing the national and international rule of law, and providing assistance during disasters and other crises; it also has some domestic security duties, including in the Dutch Caribbean territories; the military operates globally but rarely carries out military operations independently and focuses on cooperating with the armed forces of other countries, particularly with Belgium, Denmark, Germany, and the UK to include combined military units

the Netherlands has been a member of NATO since its founding in 1949, and the Dutch military is heavily involved in NATO missions and operations with air, ground, and naval forces, including air policing missions over the Benelux countries and Eastern Europe, NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence initiative in the Baltic States and Eastern Europe, and several NATO naval flotillas, as well as standby units for NATO’s rapid response force; the military has previously deployed forces to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kosovo and also regularly contributes to EU- and UN-led missions

the Dutch military conforms to NATO standards; the Army is experienced, equipped with modern weapons, and exercises regularly, including with allied partners; it has three brigades of mechanized, light, and air mobile infantry, plus artillery, air defense, and commando/special forces units; the Army cooperates closely with the German Army, including having its air mobile and mechanized brigades assigned to German divisional headquarters; in addition, the Army shares with the Germans command of a NATO high-readiness corps-level headquarters, which can be ready for deployment inside or outside NATO territory within 20 days; in 2020, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands formed a joint composite special operations component command

founded in the late 1400s, the Royal Netherlands Navy is one of the oldest naval forces in the World and conducts a variety of missions worldwide; in addition to its close ties with NATO, the Navy cooperates closely with the Belgian Navy, including a joint staff known as the Admiralty Benelux; it has a command responsible for the activities of Dutch naval units in the Caribbean, which includes combating drug trafficking, environmental crime, and illegal fishing, as well as providing search and rescue and disaster relief capabilities; the Netherlands has naval bases on Curaçao and Aruba; the Navy’s principal warships are 10 frigates and ocean-going patrol ships and three attack submarines; the Marine Corps has two battalion-size combat groups and special operations forces; since 1973, it has worked closely with the British Royal Marines, including jointly in the UK-Netherlands amphibious landing force

the Air Force operates globally and is equipped with about 50 modern US-origin combat aircraft, including F-35 stealth multirole fighters; the Air Force has a helicopter command with attack and other combat-capable helicopters; Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg have an agreement to allow the Belgian and Dutch Air Forces to conduct air policing patrols over the three countries

the core missions of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee’s (military police) are border security, security and surveillance, and international and military police tasks; it has 21 brigades based in eight Dutch provinces, plus Curaçao in the Caribbean, a special missions security brigade, and separate security platoons to guard and protect domestic sites that are most likely to be the targets of attacks, such as government buildings; Marechaussee detachments have been included in international police units deployed by NATO

the Dutch military is also part of the UK-led Joint Expeditionary Force, a defense framework of 10 Northern European nations designed to provide security to the High North, North Atlantic, and the Baltic Sea Region in response to a crisis (2023)


Space agency/agencies

Netherlands Space Office (NSO; established 2009); Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON; advises NSO on scientific space research; established 1983) (2023)

Space program overview

has an active space program focused on the added value of space on science, the economy, and society, as well as the development of cutting edge space technologies and services based on satellite data; builds and operates satellites; researches and develops technologies related to astrophysics, telecommunications, remote sensing (RS), propulsion systems, atmospheric measuring instruments (such as spectrometers), planetary/exoplanetary research, and robotics; active member of the European Space Agency (ESA) and participates in the construction of ESA satellite launch vehicles (Arienne and VEGA) and in the ESA astronaut training program; participates in international space programs and with other foreign space agencies and industries, including those of Japan, the US, and members of the EU; has a robust commercial space sector tied in to the larger European space economy (2023)

note: further details about the key activities, programs, and milestones of the country’s space program, as well as government spending estimates on the space sector, appear in Appendix S


Terrorist group(s)

Terrorist group(s): Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 53,496 (Syria), 19,204 (Eritrea), 7,106 (Turkey), 5,593 (Iran), 5,152 (Iraq) (mid-year 2022); 117,950 (Ukraine) (as of 21 February 2024)

stateless persons: 4,570 (2022)

Illicit drugs

a major transit hub for illicit substances, especially cocaine from South and Central America and methamphetamine from Mexico; homegrown synthetic drug makers and illegal chemical precursor manufacturers selling dangerous drugs, including synthetic opioids, via the internet to customers in the United States and worldwide