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  Geography
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  Transnational Issues

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Map of Netherlands

DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Netherlands
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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 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 (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 1999.

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   Geography    Netherlands
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
52 30 N, 5 45 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Europe
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 41,526 sq km
land: 33,883 sq km
water: 7,643 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,027 km
border countries: Belgium 450 km, Germany 577 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
451 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Zuidplaspolder -7 m
highest point: Vaalserberg 322 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
natural gas, petroleum, peat, limestone, salt, sand and gravel, arable land
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 26.71%
permanent crops: 0.97%
other: 72.32% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
5,650 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
flooding
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
located at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Schelde)

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   People    Netherlands
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
16,318,199 (July 2004 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 18.3% (male 1,527,316; female 1,457,192)
15-64 years: 67.8% (male 5,598,706; female 5,459,936)
65 years and over: 13.9% (male 953,370; female 1,321,679) (2004 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 38.7 years
male: 37.9 years
female: 39.6 years (2004 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.57% (2004 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11.41 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.67 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
2.91 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 5.11 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.68 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.51 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 78.68 years
male: 76.15 years
female: 81.34 years (2004 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.66 children born/woman (2004 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0.2% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
17,000 (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
110 (2001 est.)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Dutchman(men), Dutchwoman(women)
adjective: Dutch
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Dutch 83%, other 17% (of which 9% are non-Western origin mainly Turks, Moroccans, Antilleans, Surinamese and Indonesians) (1999 est.)
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
Roman Catholic 31%, Protestant 21%, Muslim 4.4%, other 3.6%, unaffiliated 40% (1998)
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Dutch (official language), Frisian (official language)
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99% (2000 est.)
male: NA
female: NA

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   Government    Netherlands
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands
conventional short form: Netherlands
local long form: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
local short form: Nederland
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
constitutional monarchy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Amsterdam; The Hague is the seat of government
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
12 provinces (provincies, singular - provincie); Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland, Zuid-Holland
Dependent areas:
Definition Field Listing
Aruba, Netherlands Antilles
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
1579 (from Spain); note - the northern provinces of the Low Country concluded the Union of Utrecht, but it was not until 1648 that Spain recognized their independence
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Queen's Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA in 1909 and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX in 1980), 30 April
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
adopted 1814; amended many times, last time 2002
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
civil law system incorporating French penal theory; constitution does not permit judicial review of acts of the States General; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Queen BEATRIX (since 30 April 1980); Heir Apparent WILLEM-ALEXANDER (born 27 April 1967), son of the monarch
head of government: Prime Minister Jan Peter BALKENENDE (since 22 July 2002) and Deputy Prime Ministers Gerrit ZALM (since 27 May 2003) and Thom DE GRAAF (since 27 May 2003)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; following Second Chamber elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; vice prime ministers appointed by the monarch
note: there is also a Council of State composed of the monarch, heir apparent, and councilors that provides consultations to the prime minister on legislative and administrative policy
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral States General or Staten Generaal consists of the First Chamber or Eerste Kamer (75 seats; members indirectly elected by the country's 12 provincial councils for four-year terms) and the Second Chamber or Tweede Kamer (150 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: First Chamber - last held 25 May 2003 (next to be held NA May 2007); Second Chamber - last held 22 January 2003 (next to be held NA January 2007)
election results: First Chamber - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - CDA 23, PvdA 19, VVD 15, Green Party 5, Socialist Party 4, D66 3, other 6; Second Chamber - percent of vote by party - CDA 28.6%, PvdA 27.3%, VVD 12.9%, Socialist Party 6.3%, List Pim Fortuyn 5.7%, Green Party 5.1%, D66 4.1%; seats by party - CDA 44, PvdA 42, VVD 28, Socialist Party 9, List Pim Fortuyn 8, Green Party 8, D66 6, other 5
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court or Hoge Raad (justices are nominated for life by the monarch)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Christian Democratic Appeal or CDA [Maxime Jacques Marcel VERHAGEN]; Christian Union Party [Andre ROUVOET]; Democrats 66 or D66 [Boris DITTRICH]; Green Party [Femke HALSEMA]; Labor Party or PvdA [Wouter BOS]; List Pim Fortuyn [Mat HERBEN]; People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Liberal) or VVD [Gerrit ZALM]; Socialist Party [Jan MARIJNISSEN]; a host of minor parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Federation of Netherlands Trade Union Movement (comprising Socialist and Catholic trade unions) and a Protestant trade union; Federation of Catholic and Protestant Employers Associations; Interchurch Peace Council or IKV; large multinational firms; the nondenominational Federation of Netherlands Enterprises
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMIL, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Boudewijn J. VAN EENENNAAM
chancery: 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-5300
FAX: [1] (202) 362-3430
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York
consulate(s): Boston
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Clifford M. SOBEL
embassy: Lange Voorhout 102, 2514 EJ, The Hague
mailing address: PSC 71, Box 1000, APO AE 09715
telephone: [31] (70) 310-9209
FAX: [31] (70) 361-4688
consulate(s) general: Amsterdam
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue; similar to the flag of Luxembourg, which uses a lighter blue and is longer; one of the oldest flags in constant use, originating with William I, Prince of Orange, in the latter half of the 16th century

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   Economy    Netherlands
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The Netherlands has a prosperous and open economy, which depends heavily on foreign trade. The economy is noted for stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizable current account surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs no more than 4% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for the food-processing industry and for exports. The Netherlands, along with 11 of its EU partners, began circulating the euro currency on 1 January 2002. The country continues to be one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment. Economic growth slowed considerably in 2001-03, as part of the global economic slowdown, but for the four years before that, annual growth averaged nearly 4%, well above the EU average. The government is wrestling with a deteriorating budget position, and is moving toward the EU 3% of GDP budget deficit limit.
GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $461.4 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-0.7% (2003 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
purchasing power parity - $28,600 (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 2.5%
industry: 24.4%
services: 73.1% (2003 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.1% of GDP (2003)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 25.1% (1994)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
32.6 (1994)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.1% (2003 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.46 million (2003)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture 4%, industry 23%, services 73% (1998 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
5.3% (2003 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $237.1 billion
expenditures: $249.5 billion, including capital expenditures of NA (2003)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
54.1% of GDP (2003)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, vegetables; livestock
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-2.1% (2003 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
88.32 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
99.42 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
4.209 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
21.49 billion kWh (2001)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
46,200 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
895,300 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.418 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.284 million bbl/day (2001)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
88.06 million bbl (1 January 2002)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
77.75 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
49.72 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
49.28 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.78 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.693 trillion cu m (1 January 2002)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$12.09 billion (2003)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$253.2 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Germany 25.3%, Belgium 12.6%, France 10.2%, UK 10.1%, Italy 6%, US 4.5% (2003 est.)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$217.7 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs, clothing
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Germany 18.2%, Belgium 10%, US 8%, UK 7.3%, China 6.2%, France 5% (2003 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange & gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$21.44 billion (2003)
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $3.3 billion (2002 est.)
Currency:
Definition Field Listing
euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
EUR
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
euros per US dollar - 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year

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   Communications    Netherlands
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.004 million (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12.5 million (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: highly developed and well maintained
domestic: extensive fixed-line fiber-optic network; cellular telephone system is one of the largest in Europe with five major network operators utilizing the third generation of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)
international: country code - 31; 9 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions) (2004)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 4, FM 246, shortwave 3 (2004)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
21 (plus 26 repeaters) (1995)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.nl
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4,518,226 (2004)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.5 million (2003)

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   Transportation    Netherlands
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,808 km
standard gauge: 2,808 km 1.435-m gauge (2,061 km electrified) (2003)
Highways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 116,500 km
paved: 104,850 km (including 2,235 km of expressways)
unpaved: 11,650 km (1999)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing
5,046 km (of which 3,745 km are canals)
note: 47% of total route length is usable by craft of 1,000-metric-ton capacity or larger
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
condensate 325 km; gas 6,998 km; oil 590 km; refined products 716 km (2003)
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Amsterdam, Delfzijl, Dordrecht, Eemshaven, Groningen, Haarlem, IJmuiden, Maastricht, Rotterdam, Terneuzen, Utrecht, Vlissingen
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 635 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 4,796,460 GRT/5,212,557 DWT
by type: bulk 1, cargo 375, chemical tanker 59, combination bulk 1, container 71, liquefied gas 13, multi-functional large load carrier 15, passenger 12, petroleum tanker 28, refrigerated cargo 37, roll on/roll off 14, short-sea/passenger 2, specialized tanker 7
foreign-owned: Belgium 2, Denmark 4, Finland 9, Germany 54, Ireland 14, Norway 9, Singapore 1, Sweden 19, Thailand 1, United Kingdom 31, United States 16
registered in other countries: 241 (2003 est.)
Airports:
Definition Field Listing
27 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 20
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 2 (2003 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 5 (2003 est.)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
1 (2003 est.)

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   Military    Netherlands
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Royal Netherlands Army, Royal Netherlands Navy (including Naval Air Service and Marine Corps), Royal Netherlands Air Force, Royal Constabulary, Defense Interservice Command
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age (2004 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 4,070,043 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 3,534,392 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 97,624
note: Netherlands has an all-volunteer, 74,100 force in 2001 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$8,044.4 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.6% (2003)

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   Transnational Issues    Netherlands
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
none
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
major European producer of ecstasy, illicit amphetamines, and other synthetic drugs; important gateway for cocaine, heroin, and hashish entering Europe; major source of US-bound ecstasy; large financial sector vulnerable to money laundering

Large portions of this information is from the US government open source publication "The World Factbook", other content copyright © Stratus-Pikpuk, Inc. You may use this information without permission for educational or other non-profit purposes if you refer to us as the source, contact us if you want to use this commercially.


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