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Welcome to the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a small country in Western Europe, with a rich cultural tradition, great higher education and an open minded and pioneering people. Its relatively small area of just over 41,000 square kilometres is home to more than 17 million people.

According to the WEF Competitiveness Index, the Netherlands, commonly known as the "gateway to Europe," has the most competitive economy in Europe and is one of the top places in the world for business investment. The nation is small, with just over 17 million people, yet it is innovative.

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In places like Utrecht, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam, many locals use bicycles for transportation. In the Netherlands, there are three times as many bicycles as vehicles.

Tourism is significant to the economy of the nation, and many tourists come to view Dutch architecture, artwork, and flowers. The Dutch produce more tulip bulbs than any other nation each year, billions of them, making them a significant industry.

Netherlands translates as "low nations." Although the nation is occasionally referred to as Holland, the term solely pertains to the two provinces of North and South Holland, which are located in Amsterdam and The Hague and border the North Sea.


The Netherlands is the EU member state with the highest population density. Around the dams, dikes, and canals, animals have had to cram into shifting habitats. In the wet wetlands, certain bird species have discovered a safe sanctuary. To ensure the survival of flora, birds, and tiny animals, the government has established sanctuaries.

For more than 600 years, wooden windmills assisted in draining water from the land. There are now additional electricity and flood control sources. By 2020, the Dutch hope to have 10% of the nation's energy requirements met by renewable sources, such as wind turbines.


The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy in a republic. Prince William of Orange founded the Dutch monarchy in the sixteenth century. King Willem-Alexander now holds the throne.
There are two houses in the States General, the Dutch parliament. Every four years, the voters elect the Lower House's 150 members. The 15 members of the Upper House are chosen by neighborhood councils to serve terms of four years.

Ministers are chosen by the king or other supreme monarch to serve in the cabinet.


The Netherlands was unable to defend itself from invading neighbors because it lacks natural boundaries or mountain ranges. The majority of the country's history was spent under foreign rule.

Parts of the Netherlands were dominated for a long time by the Romans, Celtic tribes, Germanic peoples, Scandinavian Vikings, the Franks, Austrians, and the Spanish. The Dutch attempted to overthrow their Spanish masters in the late 1500s. After participating in the Eighty Years' War, they attained freedom in 1648.

France's Napoleon conquered Holland and installed his brother Louis on the throne during the Napoleonic Wars. After claiming independence from France in 1814, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg were united as the Kingdom of the Netherlands for 25 years.

Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg all achieved independence in 1839, 1890, and 1890, respectively.

The Netherlands was under German occupation for five years during World War II, and many persons who fought the Germans or attempted to save Dutch Jews were executed.