Netherlands

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Introduction - Netherlands:

Country

Netherlands

Background

The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a 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 EEC (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999.

Location - Netherlands:

Location

Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany

Geographic coordinates

52 30 N, 5 45 E

Map references

Europe

Area

total: 41,526 sq km
land: 33,883 sq km
water: 7,643 sq km

Area comparative

slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey

Land boundaries

total: 1,027 km
border countries: Belgium 450 km, Germany 577 km

Coastline

451 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 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: Zuidplaspolder -7 m
highest point: Vaalserberg 322 m

Natural resources

natural gas, petroleum, peat, limestone, salt, sand and gravel, arable land

Land use

arable land: 21.96%
permanent crops: 0.77%
other: 77.27% (2005)

Irrigated land

5,650 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards

flooding

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-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

located at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Schelde)

People - Netherlands:

Population

16,570,613 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 17.8% (male 1,505,931/female 1,436,532)
15-64 years: 67.8% (male 5,683,877/female 5,557,745)
65 years and over: 14.4% (male 1,015,731/female 1,370,797) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 39.7 years
male: 38.9 years
female: 40.5 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

0.464% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

10.7 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

8.69 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

2.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.048 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.023 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.741 male(s)/female
total population: 0.981 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 4.88 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.43 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.31 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 79.11 years
male: 76.52 years
female: 81.82 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.66 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

0.2% (2001 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

19,000 (2001 est.)

Hiv aids deaths

less than 100 (2003 est.)

Nationality

noun: Dutchman(men), Dutchwoman(women)
adjective: Dutch

Ethnic groups

Dutch 83%, other 17% (of which 9% are non-Western origin mainly Turks, Moroccans, Antilleans, Surinamese, and Indonesians) (1999 est.)

Religions

Roman Catholic 31%, Dutch Reformed 13%, Calvinist 7%, Muslim 5.5%, other 2.5%, none 41% (2002)

Languages

Dutch (official), Frisian (official)

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
male: 99%
female: 99% (2003 est.)

Government - Netherlands:

Country name

conventional long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands
conventional short form: Netherlands
local long form: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
local short form: Nederland

Government type

constitutional monarchy

Capital

name: Amsterdam
geographic coordinates: 52 23 N, 4 54 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: The Hague (seat of government)

Dependent areas

Aruba, Netherlands Antilles

Administrative divisions

12 provinces (provincies, singular - provincie); Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland (Fryslan), Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant (North Brabant), Noord-Holland (North Holland), Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland, Zuid-Holland (South Holland)

Independence

23 January 1579 (the northern provinces of the Low Countries conclude the Union of Utrecht breaking with Spain; on 26 July 1581 they formally declared their independence with an Act of Abjuration; however, it was not until 30 January 1648 and the Peace of Westphalia that Spain recognized this independence)

National holiday

Queens Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX), 30 April (1909 and 1980)

Constitution

adopted 1815; amended many times, most recently in 2002

Legal system

based on 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

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

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); Deputy Prime Ministers Wouter BOS (since 22 February 2007) and Andre ROUVOET (since 22 February 2007)
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; deputy 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 cabinet on legislative and administrative policy

Legislative branch

bicameral States General or Staten Generaal consists of the First Chamber or Eerste Kamer (75 seats; members indirectly elected by the countrys 12 provincial councils to serve 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 in May 2007); Second Chamber - last held 22 November 2006 (next to be held by early 2011)
election results: First Chamber - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CDA 23, PvdA 19, VVD 15, Green Left Party 5, Socialist Party 4, D66 3, other 6; Second Chamber - percent of vote by party - CDA 26.5%, PvdA 21.2%, Socialist Party 16.6%, VVD 14.6%, Party for Freedom 5.9%, Green Party 4.6%, Christian Union 4.0%, other 6.6%; seats by party - CDA 41, PvdA 33, Socialist Party 25, VVD 22, Party for Freedom 9, Green Party 7, Christian Union 6, other 7

Judicial branch

Supreme Court or Hoge Raad (justices are nominated for life by the monarch)

Political parties and leaders

Christian Democratic Appeal or CDA [Jan Peter BALKENENDE]; Christian Union Party [Andre ROUVOET]; Democrats 66 or D66 [Alexander PECHTOLD]; Green Left Party [Femke HALSEMA]; Labor Party or PvdA [Wouter BOS]; List Pim Fortuyn [Olaf STUGER]; Party for Freedom or PVV [Geert WILDERS]; Party for the Animals or PvdD [Marianne THIEME]; Peoples Party for Freedom and Democracy (Liberal) or VVD [Mark RUTTE]; Reformed Political Party of SGP [Bas VAN DER VLIES]; Socialist Party [Jan MARIJNISSEN]; plus a few minor parties

Political pressure groups and leaders

Netherlands Trade Union Federation or FNV (consisting of a merger of Socialist and Catholic trade unions); Christian Trade Union Federation or CNV; Trade Union Federation of Middle and High Personnel or MHP; Federation of Catholic and Protestant Employers Associations; Interchurch Peace Council or IKV; large multinational firms; the nondenominational Federation of Netherlands Enterprises

International organization participation

AfDB, Arctic Council (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CBSS (observer), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Christiaan Mark Johan KROENER
chancery: 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-5300
FAX: [1] (202) 362-3430
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York
consulate(s): Boston

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Roland E. ARNALL
embassy: Lange Voorhout 102, 2514 EJ, The Hague
mailing address: PSC 71, Box 1000, APO AE 09715
telephone: [31] (70) 310-2209
FAX: [31] (70) 361-4688
consulate(s) general: Amsterdam

Flag description

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

Economy - Netherlands:

Economy overview

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 2% 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 2001-06, as part of the global economic slowdown, but for the four years before that, annual growth averaged nearly 4%, well above the EU average.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$529.1 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$612.7 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

2.9% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$32,100 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 2.1%
industry: 23.9%
services: 73.9% (2006 est.)

Labor force

7.6 million (2006 est.)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 2%
industry: 19%
services: 79% (2004 est.)

Unemployment rate

5.5% (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line

10.5% (1999)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.5%
highest 10%: 22.9% (1999)

Distribution of family income gini index

30.9 (2005)

Inflation rate consumer prices

1.4% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

19.3% of GDP (2006 est.)

Budget

revenues: $304.3 billion
expenditures: $306.5 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)

Public debt

50.8% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, vegetables; livestock

Industries

agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing

Industrial production growth rate

2.3% (2006 est.)

Electricity production

92.7 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

102.4 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

5.2 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

21.4 billion kWh (2004)

Oil production

95,800 bbl/day (2004)

Oil consumption

946,700 bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil exports

1.546 million bbl/day (2004)

Oil imports

2.465 million bbl/day (2004)

Oil proved reserves

106 million bbl (1 January 2005)

Natural gas production

85.98 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas consumption

51.3 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas exports

53.56 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas imports

18.85 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural gas proved reserves

1.756 trillion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)

Current account balance

$50.17 billion (2006 est.)

Exports

$413.8 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs

Exports partners

Germany 25.5%, Belgium 14%, UK 8.9%, France 8.6%, Italy 5.1%, US 4.4% (2006)

Imports

$373.8 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs, clothing

Imports partners

Germany 17.1%, Belgium 9.5%, China 9.4%, US 7.8%, UK 5.9%, Russia 5.1%, France 4.6% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$10.24 billion (August 2006 est.)

Economic aid donor

ODA, $4 billion (2003 est.)

Debt external

$1.899 trillion (30 June 2006)

Currency code

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

Exchange rates

euros per US dollar - 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002)

Communications - Netherlands:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

7.6 million (2005)

Telephones mobile cellular

15.834 million (2005)

Telephone system

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 5 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

AM 4, FM 246, shortwave 3 (2004)

Television broadcast stations

21 (plus 26 repeaters) (1995)

Internet country code

.nl

Internet hosts

8.363 million (2006)

Internet users

14.544 million (2006)

Transportation - Netherlands:

Airports

27 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 20
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 2 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 7
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 4 (2006)

Heliports

1 (2006)

Pipelines

condensate 81 km; gas 7,229 km; oil 578 km; refined products 716 km (2006)

Railways

total: 2,811 km
standard gauge: 2,811 km 1.435-m gauge (2,064 km electrified) (2006)

Roadways

total: 134,000 km (includes 3,270 km of expressways) (2004)

Waterways

6,183 km (navigable for ships of 50 tons) (2005)

Merchant marine

total: 558 ships (1000 GRT or over) 5,042,775 GRT/5,016,265 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 29, cargo 345, chemical tanker 29, container 59, liquefied gas 12, passenger 14, passenger/cargo 14, petroleum tanker 16, refrigerated cargo 19, roll on/roll off 18, specialized tanker 3
foreign-owned: 157 (Australia 1, Belgium 2, Denmark 9, Finland 13, Germany 56, Ireland 10, Netherlands Antilles 1, Norway 7, Sweden 26, UK 19, US 13)
registered in other countries: 222 (Antigua and Barbuda 14, Australia 2, Austria 2, Bahamas 24, Canada 1, Cayman Islands 4, Cyprus 18, Gibraltar 5, Isle of Man 1, Liberia 29, Luxembourg 2, Malta 6, Marshall Islands 1, Netherlands Antilles 54, Norway 3, Panama 21, Philippines 19, Portugal 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 5, Singapore 2, UK 3, US 4, unknown 1) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Amsterdam, Groningen, IJmuiden, Rotterdam, Terneuzen, Vlissingen, Zaanstad

Military - Netherlands:

Military branches

Royal Netherlands Army, Royal Netherlands Navy (includes Naval Air Service and Marine Corps), Royal Netherlands Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht, KLu), Royal Military Police, Defense Interservice Command (DICO) (2006)

Military service age and obligation

20 years of age for an all-volunteer force (2004)

Manpower available for military service

males age 20-49: 3,557,918
females age 20-49: 3,470,377 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 20-49: 2,856,691
females age 20-49: 2,786,495 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 99,934
females age 20-49: 95,818 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

1.6% (2005 est.)

Disputes international

none

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>


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