Nederland (Dutch)
Je maintiendrai (French)
("I will maintain")
Anthem: Wilhelmus (Dutch)
("William of Nassau")
Location of Netherlands (dark green)

– in Europe (light green & dark grey)
– in the European Union (light green)

Sovereign stateKingdom of the Netherlands
Before independenceSpanish Netherlands
Act of Abjuration26 July 1581
Peace of Münster30 January 1648
Kingdom established16 March 1815
Liberation Day5 May 1945
Kingdom Charter15 December 1954
Caribbean reorganisation10 October 2010
and largest city
52°22′N 4°53′E / 52.367°N 4.883°E / 52.367; 4.883
Government seatThe Hague[a]
Official languagesDutch
Recognised languages
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Dick Schoof
LegislatureStates General
House of Representatives
European Parliament
26 seats
• Total
41,865[5][e] km2 (16,164 sq mi) (134th)
• Water (%)
Highest elevation322.4 m (1,057.7 ft)
• 18 July 2024 estimate
Neutral increase 18,133,000[7] (68th)
• 2011 census
• Density
520/km2 (1,346.8/sq mi) (33rd)
GDP (PPP)2024 estimate
• Total
Increase $1.329 trillion[9] (28th)
• Per capita
Increase $74,158[9] (11th)
GDP (nominal)2024 estimate
• Total
Increase $1.143 trillion[9] (17th)
• Per capita
Increase $63,750[9] (11th)
Gini (2021)Positive decrease 26.4[10]
HDI (2022)Steady 0.946[11]
very high · 10th
Time zone[g]
 • Summer (DST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+31, +599[h]
Internet, .bq[i]

The Netherlands,[j] informally Holland, is a country located in Northwestern Europe with overseas territories in the Caribbean. It is the largest of the four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.[13] The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces; it borders Germany to the east and Belgium to the south, with a North Sea coastline to the north and west. It shares maritime borders with the United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium.[14] The official language is Dutch, with West Frisian as a secondary official language in the province of Friesland.[1] Dutch, English, and Papiamento are official in the Caribbean territories.[1]

Netherlands literally means "lower countries" in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with 26% situated below sea level.[15] Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 14th century.[16] In the Republican period, which began in 1588, the Netherlands entered a unique era of political, economic, and cultural greatness, ranked among the most powerful and influential in Europe and the world; this period is known as the Dutch Golden Age.[17] During this time, its trading companies, the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company, established colonies and trading posts all over the world.[18][19]

With a population of over 17.9 million people, all living within a total area of 41,850 km2 (16,160 sq mi)—of which the land area is 33,500 km2 (12,900 sq mi)—the Netherlands is the 33rd most densely populated country, with a density of 535 people per square kilometre (1,390 people/sq mi). Nevertheless, it is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products by value, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture, and inventiveness.[20][21][22] The four largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.[23] Amsterdam is the country's most populous city and the nominal capital, though the primary national political institutions are located in the Hague.[24]

The Netherlands has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848. The country has a tradition of pillarisation (separation of citizens into groups by religion and political beliefs) and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised prostitution and euthanasia, along with maintaining a liberal drug policy. The Netherlands allowed women's suffrage in 1919 and was the first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001.[25] Its mixed-market advanced economy has the eleventh-highest per capita income globally. The Hague holds the seat of the States General, Cabinet, and Supreme Court.[26] The Port of Rotterdam is the busiest in Europe.[27] Schiphol is the busiest airport in the Netherlands, and the fourth busiest in Europe. Being a developed country, the Netherlands is a founding member of the European Union, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD, and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. It hosts intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are in The Hague.[28]

Cite error: There are <ref group=lower-alpha> tags or {{efn}} templates on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist|group=lower-alpha}} template or {{notelist}} template (see the help page).

  1. ^ a b c d "Welke erkende talen heeft Nederland?" (in Dutch). Rijksoverheid. 11 January 2016. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Besluit van 24 juni 2021 tot vaststelling van het tijdstip van inwerkingtreding van de Wet erkenning Nederlandse Gebarentaal" (PDF). Staatsblad van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden. 2021. ISSN 0920-2064. Retrieved 1 July 2021.
  3. ^ "How many residents have origins outside the Netherlands". March 2023. Retrieved 21 July 2023.
  4. ^ "Religieuze betrokkenheid; persoonskenmerken". CBS (in English and Dutch).
  5. ^ "Waaruit bestaat het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden? –". 19 May 2015.
  6. ^ Cite error: The named reference cia-worldfactbook-nl was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  7. ^ "Bevolkingsteller" (in Dutch). Statistics Netherlands. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  8. ^ "Dutch Census 2011 Analysis and Methodology" (PDF). Statistics Netherlands. 19 November 2014. p. 9. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database, April 2024 Edition. (Netherlands)". International Monetary Fund. 16 April 2024. Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  10. ^ "Gini coefficient of equivalised disposable income – EU-SILC survey". Eurostat. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  11. ^ "Human Development Report 2023/24" (PDF). United Nations Development Programme. 13 March 2024. p. 288. Retrieved 13 March 2024.
  12. ^ "Wet geldstelsel BES". Dutch government. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Statuut voor het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden" [Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands] (in Dutch). Government of the Netherlands. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 11 July 2020.
  14. ^ "Netherlands boundaries in the North Sea". Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  15. ^ Cite error: The named reference :1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  16. ^ How it Works: Science and Technology. Marshall Cavendish. 2003. p. 1208. ISBN 978-0-7614-7323-7.
  17. ^ "Netherlands – Dutch civilization in the Golden Age (1609–1713)". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  18. ^ "Dutch Republic | History & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  19. ^ "History of the Dutch Empire". Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  20. ^ Reiley, Laura. "Cutting-edge tech made this tiny country a major exporter of food". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  21. ^ (RVO), Netherlands Enterprise Agency (17 July 2015). "Agriculture and food". Archived from the original on 1 January 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016.
  22. ^ "How the Netherlands Feeds the World". National Geographic Society. September 2017. Retrieved 15 January 2020.
  23. ^ "Gemeentegrootte en stedelijkheid" (in Dutch). CBS. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  24. ^ Dutch Wikisource. "Grondwet voor het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden" [Constitution for the Kingdom of the Netherlands] (in Dutch). Chapter 2, Article 32. Retrieved 3 July 2013. ... de hoofdstad Amsterdam ...
  25. ^ "Same-Sex Marriage Legalized in Amsterdam". CNN. 1 April 2001. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  26. ^ Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to the UN. "General Information". Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  27. ^ "Rotterdam: the largest freight port in the EU". European Commission. 2 April 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2021.
  28. ^ van Krieken, Peter J.; David McKay (2005). The Hague: Legal Capital of the World. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-90-6704-185-0.