Infoplease Atlas: The Netherlands
Kingdom of the Netherlands
National name: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
Sovereign: Queen Beatrix (1980)
Premier: Wim Kok (1994)
Area: 16,036 sq mi (41,532 sq km)
Population (2002 est.): 16,067,754 (average annual rate of natural increase: 0.3%); birth rate: 11.6/1000; infant mortality rate: 4.3/1000; density per sq mi: 1,002
Capital and largest city (1994 est.): Amsterdam (official), 724,096; The Hague (administrative capital), 445,279
Other large cities (1994 est.): Rotterdam, 598,521; Utrecht, 234,106; Eindhoven, 196,130
Monetary units: Euro (formerly guilder)
Language: Dutch, Frisian
Ethnicity/race: Dutch 96%, Moroccans, Turks, and other 4% (1988)
Religions: Roman Catholic 34%, Protestant 25%, Muslim 3%, other 2%, unaffiliated 36%
Literacy rate: 99% (1979)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2000 est.): $388.4 billion; per capita $24,400. Real growth rate: 4%. Inflation: 2.6%. Unemployment: 2.6%. Arable land: 25%. Agriculture: grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, vegetables; livestock. Labor force: 7.2 million (2000); services 73%, industry 23%, agriculture 4% (1998 est.). Industries: agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing. Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, arable land. Exports: $210.3 billion (f.o.b., 2000): machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs. Imports: $201.2 billion (c.i.f., 2000 est.): machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs. Major trading partners: EU, Central and Eastern Europe, U.S.
Communications: Telephones: main lines in use: 9,132,400 (1999); mobile cellular: 4,081,891 (April 1999). Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 58, shortwave 3 (1998). Radios: 15.3 million (1996). Television broadcast stations: 21 (plus 26 repeaters) (1995). Televisions: 8.1 million (1997). Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 52 (2000). Internet users: 6.8 million (2000).
Transportation: Railways: total: 2,808 km (2001). Highways: total: 125,575 km; paved: 113,018 km (including 2,235 km of expressways); unpaved: 12,557 km (1998). Waterways: 5,046 km, of which 47% is usable by craft of 1,000 metric ton capacity or larger. Ports and harbors: Amsterdam, Delfzijl, Dordrecht, Eemshaven, Groningen, Haarlem, Ijmuiden, Maastricht, Rotterdam, Terneuzen, Utrecht. Airports: 28 (2000 est.).
International disputes: none.
Major sources and definitions
Netherlands Autonomous Countries
The Netherlands, on the coast of the North Sea, is twice the size of New Jersey. Part of the great plain of north and west Europe, the Netherlands has maximum dimensions of 190 by 160 mi (360 by 257 km) and is low and flat except in Limburg in the southeast, where some hills rise to 300 ft (92 m). About half the country_s area is below sea level, making the famous Dutch dikes a requisite to the use of much land. Reclamation of land from the sea through dikes has continued through recent times. All drainage reaches the North Sea, and the principal rivers—Rhine, Maas (Meuse), and Schelde—have their sources outside the country.