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   The Netherlands Country Guide


The Netherlands Country Guide 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 invasion and occupation by Germany 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.

The Netherlands Full Name: Kingdom of the Netherlands
Area: 41,526 sq km (land: 33,883 sq km, water: 7,643 sq km)
Population: 17,016,967 (July 2016 est.)
Capital City: Amsterdam; The Hague is the seat of government


People: Dutch 78.6%, EU 5.8%, Turkish 2.4%, Indonesian 2.2%, Moroccan 2.2%, Surinamese 2.1%, Bonairian, Saba Islander, Sint Eustatian 0.8%, other 5.9% (2014 est.)
Language: Dutch (official)
note: Frisian, Low Saxon, and Limburgish are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
Religion: Roman Catholic 28%, Protestant 19% (includes Dutch Reformed 9%, Protestant Church of The Netherlands, 7%, Calvinist 3%), other 11% (includes about 5% Muslim and lesser numbers of Hindu, Buddhist, Jehovah's Witness, and Orthodox), none 42% (2009 est.)

Government Type: Constitutional Monarchy
Chief of State King WILLEM-ALEXANDER (since 30 April 2013)
Head of Government:Prime Minister Mark RUTTE (since 14 October 2010); Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk ASSCHER (since 5 November 2012); note - Mark RUTTE tendered his resignation 23 April 2012; new elections were held on 12 September 2012 in which his party won the most seats; during the interim period he remained in office in a care-taking position; he was sworn in again as prime minister on 5 November 2012

GDP: $US 865.9 billion (2016 est.)
GDP per Capita: $US 50,800 (2016 est.)
Inflation: 0.2% (2016 est.)
Unemployment: 6.2% (2016 est.)
Industries: Agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing
Currency: Euro (€ - EUR)

Member of EU: Yes



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Info provided by the CIA World Factbook
Updated 2/2017
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