The Netherlands: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Netherlands.

  • The Netherlands is a small country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium and Germany.
  • Almost 20 percent of the country’s land has been reclaimed from the sea, and much of it is below sea level.

  • The Netherlands has a population of about 17 million, but covers only about 41,000 square km. It is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
  • It has been described as being one of the world’s happiest countries, and has a very high standard of living.
  • It is known for windmills, tulips, cheese, bicycles and canals.
  • Amsterdam is the country’s capital and one of Europe’s most visited cities. It is one of the most bicycle friendly cities with almost as many bikes as residents — 1.2 million.
  • The world’s oldest stock exchange, dating from 1602 is in Amsterdam. The city has some world famous museums, including the Van Gogh Museum with 200 paintings by Vincent van Gogh.
  • All buildings in Amsterdam are built on poles sunk into a layer of sand up to 11 metres deep. The city’s Royal Palace is supported by almost 14,000 wooden poles.
  • The Dutch have very strict rules covering behavior and etiquette, although the country has a reputation for tolerating differences.

Flag of the Netherlands

  • Most Dutch people speak at least one other language.
  • The first tulips were imported from Turkey to the Netherlands. The country exports about 66 percent of all flowers and bulbs, and 25 percent of all the tomatoes.
  • The Netherlands is one of the few countries in the world preparing for a rise in sea level. After flooding in 1953, work began on the Delta Project, a system of huge barriers and dams.
  • During the 17th century, the Dutch became one of the world’s great sea powers. The Dutch East Indian Company was established, and the Netherlands had colonies all over the world.