Netherlands Travel Information

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The Wadden Sea

Facts About the Netherlands

Background: The 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 a brutal 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 EC, and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999.
Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: Amsterdam; The Hague is the seat of government
Currency: euro (EUR)

Geography of the Netherlands

Location: Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany
Geographic coordinates: 52 30 N, 5 45 E
total: 41,532 sq km
land: 33,889 sq km
water: 7,643 sq km
Land boundaries:
total: 1,027 km
border countries: Belgium 450 km, Germany 577 km
Coastline: 451 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters
Terrain: mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Prins Alexanderpolder -7 m
highest point: Vaalserberg 321 m
Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, arable land
Land use:
arable land: 25%
permanent crops: 3%
permanent pastures: 25%
forests and woodland: 8%
other: 39% (1996 est.)
Irrigated land: 6,000 sq km (1996 est.)
Natural hazards: the extensive system of dikes and dams protects nearly one-half of the total area from being flooded
Environment - current issues: water pollution in the form of heavy metals, organic compounds, and nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates; air pollution from vehicles and refining activities; acid rain.
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:  Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note: located at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Schelde)

People of the Netherlands

Population: 16,407,491 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  18.38% 
15-64 years:  67.9%
65 years and over:  13.72% 
Population growth rate: 0.55% 
Birth rate: 11.85 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 8.69 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 2.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 4.37 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  78.43 years
male:  75.55 years
female:  81.44 years 
Total fertility rate: 1.65 children born/woman 
noun: Dutchman(men), Dutchwoman(women)
adjective: Dutch
Ethnic groups: Dutch 91%, Moroccans, Turks, and other 9% (1999 est.)
Religions: Roman Catholic 31%, Protestant 21%, Muslim 4.4%, other 3.6%, unaffiliated 40% (1998)
Languages: Dutch
definition:  age 15 and over can read and write
total population:  99% (2000 est.)

SOURCE: The World Factbook

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