Netherlands Statistics as of 2004

The Dutch aren't bogged in their clichés, even though bikes, dykes, windmills and blazing flower fields are pretty much the norm outside the major cities. Do as the locals do - grab a bike and explore. It's a very big small country, and full of salutary surprises.

One of the chief pleasures of the Netherlands is its lively contrast between pragmatic liberalism and the buttoned-up just-so primness of a culture founded on Calvinist principles. In Dutch society, ostentation is anathema and fuss of any kind is regarded as undignified.

For travelers, the integration of the clog and the microchip works well. The Netherlands is easy to travel in and the locals are friendly and speak excellent English, but many towns are still surrounded by canals and castle walls, the endlessly flat landscape which inspired the nation's early artists still stretches unbroken to the horizons, and the dykes still occasionally threaten to give way.

Full country name:   

  Kingdom of the Netherlands

Full country name:   

  Kingdom of the Netherlands

Full country name:   

Kingdom of the Netherlands


41,526 sq km


16.2 million

Capital City:   

Amsterdam (population 735,000)


About 83% of the population are Dutch (Germanic and Gallo-Celtic stock);                                                                                                      most of the rest are Indonesian, Surinamese, Moroccan, Turkish or Antillian.


Dutch, Frisian, English


52% Christian (Roman Catholic and Protestant), 5.3% Muslim. The number of former churches that these days house art galleries is the most obvious sign of today's attitude to religion and art. Fully 40% of the Dutch say they have no religious affiliation.


Constitutional monarchy

Head of State:   

Queen Beatrix van Oranje Nassau

Head of Government:   

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende


US $434 billion

GDP per capita:   





Industries: Service industries, banking, electronics, digital media, horticulture, agriculture, shipping


Trading Partners: EU (esp Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, UK), USA

Member of EU:   




Return to the Netherlands Home Page