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This article is about the constituent country. Netherlands_sentence_0

For the sovereign state, see Kingdom of the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_1

For all other uses, see Netherlands (disambiguation). Netherlands_sentence_2



Nederland  (Dutch)Netherlands_header_cell_0_0_0


and largest cityNetherlands_header_cell_0_1_0

Government seatNetherlands_header_cell_0_2_0 The HagueNetherlands_cell_0_2_1
Official languagesNetherlands_header_cell_0_3_0 DutchNetherlands_cell_0_3_1
Co-officialNetherlands_header_cell_0_4_0 Netherlands_cell_0_4_1
RecognisedNetherlands_header_cell_0_5_0 Netherlands_cell_0_5_1
Ethnic groups (2019)Netherlands_header_cell_0_6_0 Netherlands_cell_0_6_1
Religion (2016)Netherlands_header_cell_0_7_0 Netherlands_cell_0_7_1
Demonym(s)Netherlands_header_cell_0_8_0 DutchNetherlands_cell_0_8_1
Sovereign stateNetherlands_header_cell_0_9_0 Kingdom of the NetherlandsNetherlands_cell_0_9_1
GovernmentNetherlands_header_cell_0_10_0 Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchyNetherlands_cell_0_10_1
MonarchNetherlands_header_cell_0_11_0 Willem-AlexanderNetherlands_cell_0_11_1
Prime MinisterNetherlands_header_cell_0_12_0 Mark RutteNetherlands_cell_0_12_1
Deputy Prime MinistersNetherlands_header_cell_0_13_0 Netherlands_cell_0_13_1
Vice President of the Council of StateNetherlands_header_cell_0_14_0 Thom de GraafNetherlands_cell_0_14_1
LegislatureNetherlands_header_cell_0_15_0 States GeneralNetherlands_cell_0_15_1
Upper houseNetherlands_header_cell_0_16_0 SenateNetherlands_cell_0_16_1
Lower houseNetherlands_header_cell_0_17_0 House of RepresentativesNetherlands_cell_0_17_1
Independence from Habsburg SpainNetherlands_header_cell_0_18_0
ProclaimedNetherlands_header_cell_0_19_0 26 July 1581Netherlands_cell_0_19_1
RecognisedNetherlands_header_cell_0_20_0 30 January 1648Netherlands_cell_0_20_1
Kingdom establishedNetherlands_header_cell_0_21_0 16 March 1815Netherlands_cell_0_21_1
Liberation DayNetherlands_header_cell_0_22_0 5 May 1945Netherlands_cell_0_22_1
CharterNetherlands_header_cell_0_23_0 15 December 1954Netherlands_cell_0_23_1
Caribbean incorporationNetherlands_header_cell_0_24_0 10 October 2010Netherlands_cell_0_24_1
Area Netherlands_header_cell_0_25_0
TotalNetherlands_header_cell_0_26_0 41,865 km (16,164 sq mi) (131st)Netherlands_cell_0_26_1
Water (%)Netherlands_header_cell_0_27_0 10.32 (as of 2015)Netherlands_cell_0_27_1
2020 estimateNetherlands_header_cell_0_29_0 17,418,808 (68th)Netherlands_cell_0_29_1
DensityNetherlands_header_cell_0_30_0 521/km (1,349.4/sq mi) (16th)Netherlands_cell_0_30_1
GDP (PPP)Netherlands_header_cell_0_31_0 2019 estimateNetherlands_cell_0_31_1
TotalNetherlands_header_cell_0_32_0 $1.004 trillion (28th)Netherlands_cell_0_32_1
Per capitaNetherlands_header_cell_0_33_0 $58,255 (13th)Netherlands_cell_0_33_1
GDP (nominal)Netherlands_header_cell_0_34_0 2019 estimateNetherlands_cell_0_34_1
TotalNetherlands_header_cell_0_35_0 $914 billion (17th)Netherlands_cell_0_35_1
Per capitaNetherlands_header_cell_0_36_0 $53,016 (13th)Netherlands_cell_0_36_1
Gini (2019)Netherlands_header_cell_0_37_0 26.6

low · 15thNetherlands_cell_0_37_1

HDI (2018)Netherlands_header_cell_0_38_0 0.933

very high · 10thNetherlands_cell_0_38_1

CurrencyNetherlands_header_cell_0_39_0 Netherlands_cell_0_39_1
Time zoneNetherlands_header_cell_0_40_0 Netherlands_cell_0_40_1
Summer (DST)Netherlands_header_cell_0_41_0 Netherlands_cell_0_41_1
Netherlands_header_cell_0_42_0 Note: Even though the European Netherlands are located within the UTC±0 longitudes, the country adopted
UTC+1 (Central European Time) as its standard time under German occupation on 2 November 1942, with a +0:40:28 offset (+1:40:28 during DST) from Amsterdam’s LMT (UTC+0:19:32).Netherlands_cell_0_42_1
Date formatNetherlands_header_cell_0_43_0 dd-mm-yyyyNetherlands_cell_0_43_1
Mains electricityNetherlands_header_cell_0_44_0 230 V–50 HzNetherlands_cell_0_44_1
Driving sideNetherlands_header_cell_0_45_0 rightNetherlands_cell_0_45_1
Calling codeNetherlands_header_cell_0_46_0 +31, +599Netherlands_cell_0_46_1
ISO 3166 codeNetherlands_header_cell_0_47_0 NLNetherlands_cell_0_47_1
Internet TLDNetherlands_header_cell_0_48_0 .nl, .bqNetherlands_cell_0_48_1

The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland [ˈneːdərlɑnt (listen)), informally Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Caribbean, forming the largest constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_3

In Europe, it consists of 12 provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. Netherlands_sentence_4

In the Caribbean, it consists of three special municipalities: the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. Netherlands_sentence_5

The country's official language is Dutch, with West Frisian as a secondary official language in the province of Friesland, and English and Papiamentu as secondary official languages in the Caribbean Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_6

Dutch Low Saxon and Limburgish are recognised regional languages (spoken in the east and southeast respectively), while Sinte Romani and Yiddish are recognised non-territorial languages. Netherlands_sentence_7

The four largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Netherlands_sentence_8

Amsterdam is the country's most populous city and nominal capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General, Cabinet and Supreme Court. Netherlands_sentence_9

The Port of Rotterdam is the busiest seaport in Europe, and the busiest in any country outside East Asia and Southeast Asia, behind only China and Singapore. Netherlands_sentence_10

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the busiest airport in the Netherlands, and the third busiest in Europe. Netherlands_sentence_11

The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. Netherlands_sentence_12

It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, which is consequently dubbed 'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands_sentence_13

Netherlands literally means "lower countries" in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) above sea level, and nearly 17% falling below sea level. Netherlands_sentence_14

Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 14th century. Netherlands_sentence_15

Colloquially or informally the Netherlands are occasionally referred to by the pars pro toto Holland. Netherlands_sentence_16

With a population of 17.4 million people, all living within a total area of roughly 41,800 square kilometres (16,100 sq mi)—of which the land area is 33,500 square kilometres (12,900 sq mi)—the Netherlands is the 12th most densely populated country in the world and the 2nd most densely populated country in the European Union, with a density of 521 per square kilometre (1,350/sq mi). Netherlands_sentence_17

Nevertheless, it is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products (after the United States), owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture and inventiveness. Netherlands_sentence_18

The Netherlands has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848. Netherlands_sentence_19

The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion, prostitution and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a liberal drug policy. Netherlands_sentence_20

The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in Civil Law in 1870, though it was not completely removed until a new constitution was approved in 1983. Netherlands_sentence_21

The Netherlands allowed women's suffrage in 1919, before becoming the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001. Netherlands_sentence_22

Its mixed-market advanced economy had the eleventh-highest per capita income globally. Netherlands_sentence_23

The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development and quality of life, as well as happiness. Netherlands_sentence_24

In 2019, it ranked tenth on the human development index and fifth on the 2019 World Happiness Index. Netherlands_sentence_25

Etymology Netherlands_section_0

Main article: Terminology of the Low Countries Netherlands_sentence_26

The Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and widely varying names in different languages. Netherlands_sentence_27

There is diversity even within languages. Netherlands_sentence_28

In English, the Netherlands is also called Holland or (part of) the Low Countries, whereas the term "Dutch" is used as the demonym and adjectival form. Netherlands_sentence_29

The Netherlands and the Low Countries Netherlands_section_1

The region called the Low Countries (comprising Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) and the Country of the Netherlands, have the same toponymy. Netherlands_sentence_30

Place names with Neder, Nieder, Nedre, Nether, Lage(r) or Low(er) (in Germanic languages) and Bas or Inferior (in Romance languages) are in use in low-lying places all over Europe. Netherlands_sentence_31

They are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Super(ior), Up(per), Op(per), Ober, Boven, High, Haut or Hoch. Netherlands_sentence_32

In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea. Netherlands_sentence_33

The geographical location of the upper region, however, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. Netherlands_sentence_34

The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior (nowadays part of Belgium and the Netherlands) and upstream Germania Superior (nowadays part of Germany). Netherlands_sentence_35

The designation 'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries. Netherlands_sentence_36

But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France. Netherlands_sentence_37

The Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled from their residence in the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà ("the lands over here") for the Low Countries, as opposed to les pays de par delà ("the lands over there") for their original homeland: Burgundy in present-day east-central France. Netherlands_sentence_38

Under Habsburg rule, Les pays de par deçà developed in pays d'embas ("lands down-here"), a deictic expression in relation to other Habsburg possessions like Hungary and Austria. Netherlands_sentence_39

This was translated as Neder-landen in contemporary Dutch official documents. Netherlands_sentence_40

From a regional point of view, Niderlant was also the area between the Meuse and the lower Rhine in the late Middle Ages. Netherlands_sentence_41

The area known as Oberland (High country) was in this deictic context considered to begin approximately at the nearby higher located Cologne. Netherlands_sentence_42

From the mid-sixteenth century on, the "Low Countries" and the "Netherlands" lost their original deictic meaning. Netherlands_sentence_43

They were probably the most commonly used names, besides Flanders, a pars pro toto for the Low Countries, especially in Romance language speaking Europe. Netherlands_sentence_44

The Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) divided the Low Countries into an independent northern Dutch Republic (or Latinised Belgica Foederata, "Federated Netherlands", the precursor state of the Netherlands) and a Spanish controlled Southern Netherlands (Latinised Belgica Regia, "Royal Netherlands", the precursor state of Belgium). Netherlands_sentence_45

The Low Countries today is a designation that includes the countries of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, although in most Romance languages, the term "Low Countries" is used as the name for the Netherlands specifically. Netherlands_sentence_46

It is used synonymous with the more neutral and geopolitical term Benelux. Netherlands_sentence_47

Holland Netherlands_section_2

The Netherlands is also referred to as Holland in various languages, including English. Netherlands_sentence_48

The region of Holland proper consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces, formerly a single province, and earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom. Netherlands_sentence_49

Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region. Netherlands_sentence_50

The emphasis on Holland during the formation of the Dutch Republic, the Eighty Years' War, and the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 16th, 17th, and 18th century, made Holland serve as a pars pro toto for the entire country, which is now considered informal or incorrect. Netherlands_sentence_51

Nonetheless, the name "Holland" is still widely used for the Netherlands national football team, including in the Netherlands, and the Dutch government's international websites for tourism and trade are "" and "". Netherlands_sentence_52

In 2020, however, the Dutch government announced that it would only communicate and advertise under the name "the Netherlands" in the future. Netherlands_sentence_53

Dutch Netherlands_section_3

The term Dutch is used as the demonymic and adjectival form of the Netherlands in the English language. Netherlands_sentence_54

The origins of the word go back to Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz, Latinised into Theodiscus, meaning "popular" or "of the people"; akin to Old Dutch dietsc, Old High German diutsch, and Old English þeodisc, all meaning "(of) the common (Germanic) people". Netherlands_sentence_55

At first, the English language used (the contemporary form of) Dutch to refer to any or all speakers of West Germanic languages (e.g. the Dutch, the Frisians, and the Germans). Netherlands_sentence_56

Gradually its meaning shifted to the West Germanic people they had most contact with, because of their geographical proximity and for the rivalry in trade and overseas territories. Netherlands_sentence_57

The derivative of the Proto-Germanic word *þiudiskaz in modern Dutch, Diets, can be found in Dutch literature as a poetic name for the Dutch people or language, but is considered very archaic. Netherlands_sentence_58

It is still used in the expression "diets maken" – to put it straight to him/her (as in a threat) or, more neutral, to make it clear, understandable, explain, say in the people's language (cf. Netherlands_sentence_59

the Vulgate (Bible not in Greek or Hebrew, but Latin; the folks' language) in meaning vulgar, though not in a pejorative sense). Netherlands_sentence_60

Terminology in Dutch and other languages Netherlands_section_4

In Dutch, the official names for the Netherlands, the Dutch language and a Dutch citizen are Nederland, Nederlands and Nederlander. Netherlands_sentence_61

However, colloquially the country is even by the Dutch often referred to as Holland, although rarely outside the two provinces North and South Holland, where it may even be used as a pejorative term, e.g. Hollènder (dialect) in Maastricht. Netherlands_sentence_62

The plural Nederlanden was used in many different connotations in the past, but since 1815 it has been used only in first Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden (United Kingdom of the Netherlands") and since the separation from Belgium in 1830 as Koninkrijk der Nederlanden ("Kingdom of the Netherlands"), referring originally to the Netherlands proper plus its colonies, and now to the Netherlands proper plus Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten. Netherlands_sentence_63

In many other languages, however, the plural stuck, generally preceded by an article, e.g. die Niederlande (German), les Pays-Bas (French) and los Países Bajos (Spanish). Netherlands_sentence_64

In Indonesian (a former colony) the country is called Belanda, a name derived from 'Holland'. Netherlands_sentence_65

History Netherlands_section_5

Main article: History of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_66

Prehistory (before 800 BC) Netherlands_section_6

Main articles: Paleolithic Europe, Neolithic Europe, and Bronze Age Europe Netherlands_sentence_67

The prehistory of the area that is now the Netherlands was largely shaped by the sea and the rivers that constantly shifted the low-lying geography. Netherlands_sentence_68

The oldest human (Neanderthal) traces were found in higher soils, near Maastricht, from what is believed to be about 250,000 years ago. Netherlands_sentence_69

At the end of the Ice Age, the nomadic late Upper Paleolithic Hamburg culture (c. 13.000–10.000 BC) hunted reindeer in the area, using spears, but the later Ahrensburg culture (c. 11.200–9500 BC) used bow and arrow. Netherlands_sentence_70

From Mesolithic Maglemosian-like tribes (c. 8000 BC) the oldest canoe in the world was found in Drenthe. Netherlands_sentence_71

Indigenous late Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from the Swifterbant culture (c. 5600 BC) were related to the southern Scandinavian Ertebølle culture and were strongly linked to rivers and open water. Netherlands_sentence_72

Between 4800 and 4500 BC, the Swifterbant people started to copy from the neighbouring Linear Pottery culture the practise of animal husbandry, and between 4300 and 4000 BC the practice of agriculture. Netherlands_sentence_73

The Funnelbeaker culture (c. 4300–2800 BC), which is related to the Swifterbant culture, erected the dolmens, large stone grave monuments found in Drenthe. Netherlands_sentence_74

There was a quick and smooth transition from the Funnelbeaker farming culture to the pan-European Corded Ware pastoralist culture (c. 2950 BC). Netherlands_sentence_75

In the southwest, the Seine-Oise-Marne culture — which was related to the Vlaardingen culture (c. 2600 BC), an apparently more primitive culture of hunter-gatherers — survived well into the Neolithic period, until it too was succeeded by the Corded Ware culture. Netherlands_sentence_76

Of the subsequent Bell Beaker culture (2700–2100 BC) several regions of origin have been postulated, notably the Iberian peninsula, the Netherlands and Central Europe. Netherlands_sentence_77

They introduced metalwork in copper, gold and later bronze and opened international trade routes not seen before, reflected in the discoveries of copper artifacts, as the metal is not normally found in Dutch soil. Netherlands_sentence_78

The many finds in Drenthe of rare bronze objects, suggest that it was even a trading centre in the Bronze Age (2000–800 BC). Netherlands_sentence_79

The Bell Beaker culture developed locally into the Barbed-Wire Beaker culture (2100–1800 BC) and later the Elp culture (c. 1800–800 BC), a Middle Bronze Age archaeological culture having earthenware pottery of low quality as a marker. Netherlands_sentence_80

The initial phase of the Elp culture was characterised by tumuli (1800–1200 BC) that were strongly tied to contemporary tumuli in northern Germany and Scandinavia, and were apparently related to the Tumulus culture in central Europe. Netherlands_sentence_81

The subsequent phase was that of cremating the dead and placing their ashes in urns which were then buried in fields, following the customs of the Urnfield culture (1200–800 BC). Netherlands_sentence_82

The southern region became dominated by the related Hilversum culture (1800–800 BC), which apparently inherited cultural ties with Britain of the previous Barbed-Wire Beaker culture. Netherlands_sentence_83

Celts, Germanic tribes and Romans (800 BC–410 AD) Netherlands_section_7

Main articles: Iron Age Europe, Celts, Germanic peoples, and Netherlands in the Roman era Netherlands_sentence_84

From 800 BC onwards, the Iron Age Celtic Hallstatt culture became influential, replacing the Hilversum culture. Netherlands_sentence_85

Iron ore brought a measure of prosperity, and was available throughout the country, including bog iron. Netherlands_sentence_86

Smiths travelled from settlement to settlement with bronze and iron, fabricating tools on demand. Netherlands_sentence_87

The King's grave of Oss (700 BC) was found in a burial mound, the largest of its kind in western Europe and containing an iron sword with an inlay of gold and coral. Netherlands_sentence_88

The deteriorating climate in Scandinavia around 850 BC further deteriorated around 650 BC and might have triggered migration of Germanic tribes from the North. Netherlands_sentence_89

By the time this migration was complete, around 250 BC, a few general cultural and linguistic groups had emerged. Netherlands_sentence_90

The North Sea Germanic Ingaevones inhabited the northern part of the Low Countries. Netherlands_sentence_91

They would later develop into the Frisii and the early Saxons. Netherlands_sentence_92

A second grouping, the Weser-Rhine Germanic (or Istvaeones), extended along the middle Rhine and Weser and inhabited the Low Countries south of the great rivers. Netherlands_sentence_93

This group consisted of tribes that would eventually develop into the Salian Franks. Netherlands_sentence_94

Also the Celtic La Tène culture (c. 450 BC up to the Roman conquest) had expanded over a wide range, including the southern area of the Low Countries. Netherlands_sentence_95

Some scholars have speculated that even a third ethnic identity and language, neither Germanic nor Celtic, survived in the Netherlands until the Roman period, the Iron Age Nordwestblock culture, that eventually was absorbed by the Celts to the south and the Germanic peoples from the east. Netherlands_sentence_96

The first author to describe the coast of Holland and Flanders was the Greek geographer Pytheas, who noted in c.325 BC that in these regions, "more people died in the struggle against water than in the struggle against men." Netherlands_sentence_97

During the Gallic Wars, the area south and west of the Rhine was conquered by Roman forces under Julius Caesar from 57 BC to 53 BC. Netherlands_sentence_98

Caesar describes two main Celtic tribes living in what is now the southern Netherlands: the Menapii and the Eburones. Netherlands_sentence_99

The Rhine became fixed as Rome's northern frontier around 12 AD. Netherlands_sentence_100

Notable towns would arise along the Limes Germanicus: Nijmegen and Voorburg. Netherlands_sentence_101

At first part of Gallia Belgica, the area south of the Limes became part of the Roman province of Germania Inferior. Netherlands_sentence_102

The area to the north of the Rhine, inhabited by the Frisii, remained outside Roman rule (but not its presence and control), while the Germanic border tribes of the Batavi and Cananefates served in the Roman cavalry. Netherlands_sentence_103

The Batavi rose against the Romans in the Batavian rebellion of 69 AD, but were eventually defeated. Netherlands_sentence_104

The Batavi later merged with other tribes into the confederation of the Salian Franks, whose identity emerged at the first half of the third century. Netherlands_sentence_105

Salian Franks appear in Roman texts as both allies and enemies. Netherlands_sentence_106

They were forced by the confederation of the Saxons from the east to move over the Rhine into Roman territory in the fourth century. Netherlands_sentence_107

From their new base in West Flanders and the Southwest Netherlands, they were raiding the English Channel. Netherlands_sentence_108

Roman forces pacified the region, but did not expel the Franks, who continued to be feared at least until the time of Julian the Apostate (358), when Salian Franks were allowed to settle as foederati in Texandria. Netherlands_sentence_109

It has been postulated that after deteriorating climate conditions and the Romans' withdrawal, the Frisii disappeared as laeti in c. 296, leaving the coastal lands largely unpopulated for the next two centuries. Netherlands_sentence_110

However, recent excavations in Kennemerland show clear indication of a permanent habitation. Netherlands_sentence_111

Early Middle Ages (411–1000) Netherlands_section_8

Main articles: Frankish Kingdom and Frisian Kingdom Netherlands_sentence_112

After Roman government in the area collapsed, the Franks expanded their territories in numerous kingdoms. Netherlands_sentence_113

By the 490s, Clovis I had conquered and united all these territories in the southern Netherlands in one Frankish kingdom, and from there continued his conquests into Gaul. Netherlands_sentence_114

During this expansion, Franks migrating to the south eventually adopted the Vulgar Latin of the local population. Netherlands_sentence_115

A widening cultural divide grew with the Franks remaining in their original homeland in the north (i.e. southern Netherlands and Flanders), who kept on speaking Old Frankish, which by the ninth century had evolved into Old Low Franconian or Old Dutch. Netherlands_sentence_116

A Dutch-French language boundary hence came into existence. Netherlands_sentence_117

To the north of the Franks, climatic conditions improved, and during the Migration Period Saxons, the closely related Angles, Jutes and Frisii settled the coastal land. Netherlands_sentence_118

Many moved on to England and came to be known as Anglo-Saxons, but those who stayed would be referred to as Frisians and their language as Frisian, named after the land that was once inhabited by Frisii. Netherlands_sentence_119

Frisian was spoken along the entire southern North Sea coast, and it is still the language most closely related to English among the living languages of continental Europe. Netherlands_sentence_120

By the seventh century a Frisian Kingdom (650–734) under King Aldegisel and King Redbad emerged with Utrecht as its centre of power, while Dorestad was a flourishing trading place. Netherlands_sentence_121

Between 600 and around 719 the cities were often fought over between the Frisians and the Franks. Netherlands_sentence_122

In 734, at the Battle of the Boarn, the Frisians were defeated after a series of wars. Netherlands_sentence_123

With the approval of the Franks, the Anglo-Saxon missionary Willibrord converted the Frisian people to Christianity. Netherlands_sentence_124

He established the Archdiocese of Utrecht and became bishop of the Frisians. Netherlands_sentence_125

However, his successor Boniface was murdered by the Frisians in Dokkum, in 754. Netherlands_sentence_126

The Frankish Carolingian empire modeled itself after the Roman Empire and controlled much of Western Europe. Netherlands_sentence_127

However, as of 843, it was divided into three parts—East, Middle, and West Francia. Netherlands_sentence_128

Most of present-day Netherlands became part of Middle Francia, which was a weak kingdom and subject of numerous partitions and annexation attempts by its stronger neighbours. Netherlands_sentence_129

It comprised territories from Frisia in the north to the Kingdom of Italy in the south. Netherlands_sentence_130

Around 850, Lothair I of Middle Francia acknowledged the Viking Rorik of Dorestad as ruler of most of Frisia. Netherlands_sentence_131

When the kingdom of Middle Francia was partitioned in 855, the lands north of the Alps passed to Lothair II and subsequently were named Lotharingia. Netherlands_sentence_132

After he died in 869, Lotharingia was partitioned, into Upper and Lower Lotharingia, the latter part comprising the Low Countries that technically became part of East Francia in 870, although it was effectively under the control of Vikings, who raided the largely defenceless Frisian and Frankish towns lying on the Frisian coast and along the rivers. Netherlands_sentence_133

Around 879, another Viking expedition led by Godfrid, Duke of Frisia raided the Frisian lands. Netherlands_sentence_134

The Viking raids made the sway of French and German lords in the area weak. Netherlands_sentence_135

Resistance to the Vikings, if any, came from local nobles, who gained in stature as a result, and that laid the basis for the disintegration of Lower Lotharingia into semi-independent states. Netherlands_sentence_136

One of these local nobles was Gerolf of Holland, who assumed lordship in Frisia after he helped to assassinate Godfrid, and Viking rule came to an end. Netherlands_sentence_137

High Middle Ages (1000–1384) Netherlands_section_9

Main article: History of urban centers in the Low Countries Netherlands_sentence_138

The Holy Roman Empire (the successor state of East Francia and then Lotharingia) ruled much of the Low Countries in the 10th and 11th century, but was not able to maintain political unity. Netherlands_sentence_139

Powerful local nobles turned their cities, counties and duchies into private kingdoms that felt little sense of obligation to the emperor. Netherlands_sentence_140

Holland, Hainaut, Flanders, Gelre, Brabant, and Utrecht were in a state of almost continual war or in paradoxically formed personal unions. Netherlands_sentence_141

The language and culture of most of the people who lived in the County of Holland were originally Frisian. Netherlands_sentence_142

As Frankish settlement progressed from Flanders and Brabant, the area quickly became Old Low Franconian (or Old Dutch). Netherlands_sentence_143

The rest of Frisia in the north (now Friesland and Groningen) continued to maintain its independence and had its own institutions (collectively called the "Frisian freedom"), which resented the imposition of the feudal system. Netherlands_sentence_144

Around 1000 AD, due to several agricultural developments, the economy started to develop at a fast pace, and the higher productivity allowed workers to farm more land or to become tradesmen. Netherlands_sentence_145

Towns grew around monasteries and castles, and a mercantile middle class began to develop in these urban areas, especially in Flanders and later also Brabant. Netherlands_sentence_146

Wealthy cities started to buy certain privileges for themselves from the sovereign. Netherlands_sentence_147

In practice, this meant that Brugge and Antwerp became quasi-independent republics in their own right and would later develop into some of the most important cities and ports in Europe. Netherlands_sentence_148

Around 1100 AD, farmers from Flanders and Utrecht began draining and cultivating uninhabited swampy land in the western Netherlands, making the emergence of the County of Holland as the centre of power possible. Netherlands_sentence_149

The title of Count of Holland was fought over in the Hook and Cod Wars (Dutch: Hoekse en Kabeljauwse twisten) between 1350 and 1490. Netherlands_sentence_150

The Cod faction consisted of the more progressive cities, while the Hook faction consisted of the conservative noblemen. Netherlands_sentence_151

These noblemen invited the Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy — who was also Count of Flanders — to conquer Holland. Netherlands_sentence_152

Burgundian, Habsburg and Spanish Habsburg Netherlands (1384–1581) Netherlands_section_10

Main articles: Burgundian Netherlands, Habsburg Netherlands, and Spanish Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_153

Most of the Imperial and French fiefs in what is now the Netherlands and Belgium were united in a personal union by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy in 1433. Netherlands_sentence_154

The House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs would rule the Low Countries in the period from 1384 to 1581. Netherlands_sentence_155

Before the Burgundian union, the Dutch identified themselves by the town they lived in or their local duchy or county. Netherlands_sentence_156

The Burgundian period is when the road to nationhood began. Netherlands_sentence_157

The new rulers defended Dutch trading interests, which then developed rapidly. Netherlands_sentence_158

The fleets of the County of Holland defeated the fleets of the Hanseatic League several times. Netherlands_sentence_159

Amsterdam grew and in the 15th century became the primary trading port in Europe for grain from the Baltic region. Netherlands_sentence_160

Amsterdam distributed grain to the major cities of Belgium, Northern France and England. Netherlands_sentence_161

This trade was vital, because Holland could no longer produce enough grain to feed itself. Netherlands_sentence_162

Land drainage had caused the peat of the former wetlands to reduce to a level that was too low for drainage to be maintained. Netherlands_sentence_163

Under Habsburg Charles V, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Spain, all fiefs in the current Netherlands region were united into the Seventeen Provinces, which also included most of present-day Belgium, Luxembourg, and some adjacent land in what is now France and Germany. Netherlands_sentence_164

In 1568, under Phillip II, the Eighty Years' War between the Provinces and their Spanish ruler began. Netherlands_sentence_165

The level of ferocity exhibited by both sides can be gleaned from a Dutch chronicler's report: Netherlands_sentence_166

The Duke of Alba ruthlessly attempted to suppress the Protestant movement in the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_167

Netherlanders were "burned, strangled, beheaded, or buried alive" by his "Blood Council" and his Spanish soldiers. Netherlands_sentence_168

Severed heads and decapitated corpses were displayed along streets and roads to terrorize the population into submission. Netherlands_sentence_169

Alba boasted of having executed 18,600, but this figure does not include those who perished by war and famine. Netherlands_sentence_170

The first great siege was Alba's effort to capture Haarlem and thereby cut Holland in half. Netherlands_sentence_171

It dragged on from December 1572 to the next summer, when Haarlemers finally surrendered on 13 July upon promise that the city would be spared from being sacked. Netherlands_sentence_172

It was a stipulation Don Fadrique was unable to honor, when his soldiers mutinied, angered over pay owed and the miserable conditions they endured during the long, cold months of the campaign. Netherlands_sentence_173

On 4 November 1576, Spanish tercios seized Antwerp and subjected it to the worst pillage in the Netherlands' history. Netherlands_sentence_174

The citizens resisted, but were overcome; seven thousand of them were mowed down; a thousand buildings were torched; men, women, and children were slaughtered in a delirium of blood by soldiers crying, "Santiago! Netherlands_sentence_175

España! Netherlands_sentence_176

A sangre, a carne, a fuego, a sacco!" Netherlands_sentence_177

(Saint James! Netherlands_sentence_178

Spain! Netherlands_sentence_179

To blood, to the flesh, to fire, to sack!) Netherlands_sentence_180

Following the sack of Antwerp, delegates from Catholic Brabant, Protestant Holland and Zeeland agreed, at Ghent, to join Utrecht and William the Silent in driving out all Spanish troops and forming a new government for the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_181

Don Juan of Austria, the new Spanish governor, was forced to concede initially, but within months returned to active hostilities. Netherlands_sentence_182

As the fighting restarted, the Dutch began to look for help from the Queen of England, but she initially stood by her commitments to the Spanish in the Treaty of Bristol of 1574. Netherlands_sentence_183

The result was that when the next large-scale battle did occur at Gembloux in 1578, the Spanish forces easily won the day, killing at least 10,000 rebels, with the Spanish suffering few losses. Netherlands_sentence_184

In light of the defeat at Gembloux, the southern states of the Seventeen Provinces (today in northern France and Belgium) distanced themselves from the rebels in the north with the 1579 Union of Arras, which expressed their loyalty to Philip II of Spain. Netherlands_sentence_185

Opposing them, the northern half of the Seventeen Provinces forged the Union of Utrecht (also of 1579) in which they committed to support each other in their defence against the Spanish army. Netherlands_sentence_186

The Union of Utrecht is seen as the foundation of the modern Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_187

Spanish troops sacked Maastricht in 1579, killing over 10,000 civilians and thereby ensuring the rebellion continued. Netherlands_sentence_188

In 1581, the northern provinces adopted the Act of Abjuration, the declaration of independence in which the provinces officially deposed Philip II as reigning monarch in the northern provinces. Netherlands_sentence_189

Against the rebels Philip could draw on the resources of Spain, Spanish America, Spanish Italy and the Spanish Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_190

The Protestant Queen Elizabeth I of England sympathised with the Dutch struggle against the Spanish, and sent an army of 7,600 soldiers to aid the Dutch in their war with the Catholic Spanish. Netherlands_sentence_191

English forces under the Earl of Leicester and then Lord Willoughby faced the Spanish in the Netherlands under the Duke of Parma in a series of largely indecisive actions that tied down significant numbers of Spanish troops and bought time for the Dutch to reorganise their defenses. Netherlands_sentence_192

The war continued until 1648, when Spain under King Philip IV finally recognised the independence of the seven north-western provinces in the Peace of Münster. Netherlands_sentence_193

Parts of the southern provinces became de facto colonies of the new republican-mercantile empire. Netherlands_sentence_194

Dutch Republic (1581–1795) Netherlands_section_11

Main articles: Dutch Republic and Evolution of the Dutch Empire Netherlands_sentence_195

After declaring their independence, the provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Groningen, Friesland, Utrecht, Overijssel, and Gelderland formed a confederation. Netherlands_sentence_196

All these duchies, lordships and counties were autonomous and had their own government, the States-Provincial. Netherlands_sentence_197

The States General, the confederal government, were seated in The Hague and consisted of representatives from each of the seven provinces. Netherlands_sentence_198

The sparsely populated region of Drenthe was part of the republic too, although it was not considered one of the provinces. Netherlands_sentence_199

Moreover, the Republic had come to occupy during the Eighty Years' War a number of so-called Generality Lands in Flanders, Brabant and Limburg. Netherlands_sentence_200

Their population was mainly Roman Catholic, and these areas did not have a governmental structure of their own, and were used as a buffer zone between the Republic and the Spanish-controlled Southern Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_201

In the Dutch Golden Age, spanning much of the 17th century, the Dutch Empire grew to become one of the major seafaring and economic powers, alongside Portugal, Spain, France and England. Netherlands_sentence_202

Science, military, and art (especially painting) were among the most acclaimed in the world. Netherlands_sentence_203

By 1650, the Dutch owned 16,000 merchant ships. Netherlands_sentence_204

The Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company established colonies and trading posts all over the world, including ruling the northern parts of Taiwan between 1624–1662 and 1664–1667. Netherlands_sentence_205

The Dutch settlement in North America began with the founding of New Amsterdam on the southern part of Manhattan in 1614. Netherlands_sentence_206

In South Africa, the Dutch settled the Cape Colony in 1652. Netherlands_sentence_207

Dutch colonies in South America were established along the many rivers in the fertile Guyana plains, among them Colony of Surinam (now Suriname). Netherlands_sentence_208

In Asia, the Dutch established the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), and the only western trading post in Japan, Dejima. Netherlands_sentence_209

During the period of Proto-industrialization, the empire received 50% of textiles and 80% of silks import from the India's Mughal Empire, chiefly from its most developed region known as Bengal Subah. Netherlands_sentence_210

Many economic historians regard the Netherlands as the first thoroughly capitalist country in the world. Netherlands_sentence_211

In early modern Europe it had the wealthiest trading city (Amsterdam) and the first full-time stock exchange. Netherlands_sentence_212

The inventiveness of the traders led to insurance and retirement funds as well as phenomena such as the boom-bust cycle, the world's first asset-inflation bubble, the tulip mania of 1636–1637, and the world's first bear raider, Isaac le Maire, who forced prices down by dumping stock and then buying it back at a discount. Netherlands_sentence_213

In 1672 – known in Dutch history as the Rampjaar (Disaster Year) – the Dutch Republic was at war with France, England and three German Bishoprics simultaneously. Netherlands_sentence_214

At sea it could successfully prevent the English and French navy entering the western shores. Netherlands_sentence_215

On land, however, it was almost taken over internally by the advancing French and German armies coming from the east. Netherlands_sentence_216

It managed to turn the tide by inundating parts of Holland but could never recover to its former glory again and went into a state of general decline in the 18th century, with economic competition from England and long-standing rivalries between the two main factions in Dutch society, the republican Staatsgezinden and the supporters of the stadtholder the Prinsgezinden as main political factions. Netherlands_sentence_217

Batavian Republic and Kingdom (1795–1890) Netherlands_section_12

Main articles: Batavian Republic, Kingdom of Holland, Sovereign Principality of the United Netherlands, United Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Kingdom of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_218

With the armed support of revolutionary France, Dutch republicans proclaimed the Batavian Republic, modelled after the French Republic and rendering the Netherlands a unitary state on 19 January 1795. Netherlands_sentence_219

The stadtholder William V of Orange had fled to England. Netherlands_sentence_220

But from 1806 to 1810, the Kingdom of Holland was set up by Napoleon Bonaparte as a puppet kingdom governed by his brother Louis Bonaparte to control the Netherlands more effectively. Netherlands_sentence_221

However, King Louis Bonaparte tried to serve Dutch interests instead of his brother's, and he was forced to abdicate on 1 July 1810. Netherlands_sentence_222

The Emperor sent in an army and the Netherlands became part of the French Empire until the autumn of 1813, when Napoleon was defeated in the Battle of Leipzig. Netherlands_sentence_223

William Frederick, son of the last stadtholder, returned to the Netherlands in 1813 and proclaimed himself Sovereign Prince of the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_224

Two years later, the Congress of Vienna added the southern Netherlands to the north to create a strong country on the northern border of France. Netherlands_sentence_225

William Frederick raised this United Netherlands to the status of a kingdom and proclaimed himself as King William I in 1815. Netherlands_sentence_226

In addition, William became hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg in exchange for his German possessions. Netherlands_sentence_227

However, the Southern Netherlands had been culturally separate from the north since 1581, and rebelled. Netherlands_sentence_228

The south gained independence in 1830 as Belgium (recognised by the Northern Netherlands in 1839 as the Kingdom of the Netherlands was created by decree), while the personal union between Luxembourg and the Netherlands was severed in 1890, when William III died with no surviving male heirs. Netherlands_sentence_229

Ascendancy laws prevented his daughter Queen Wilhelmina from becoming the next Grand Duchess. Netherlands_sentence_230

The Belgian Revolution at home and the Java War in the Dutch East Indies brought the Netherlands to the brink of bankruptcy. Netherlands_sentence_231

However, the Cultivation System was introduced in 1830; in the Dutch East Indies, 20% of village land had to be devoted to government crops for export. Netherlands_sentence_232

The policy brought the Dutch enormous wealth and made the colony self-sufficient. Netherlands_sentence_233

The Netherlands abolished slavery in its colonies in 1863. Netherlands_sentence_234

Slaves in Suriname would be fully free only in 1873, since the law stipulated that there was to be a mandatory 10-year transition. Netherlands_sentence_235

World wars and beyond (1890–present) Netherlands_section_13

Main articles: History of the Netherlands (1900–present), The Netherlands in World War I, and Netherlands in World War II Netherlands_sentence_236

The Netherlands were able to remain neutral during World War I, in part because the import of goods through the Netherlands proved essential to German survival, until the blockade by the British Royal Navy in 1916. Netherlands_sentence_237

That changed in World War II, when Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. Netherlands_sentence_238

The Rotterdam Blitz forced the main element of the Dutch army to surrender four days later. Netherlands_sentence_239

During the occupation, over 100,000 Dutch Jews were rounded up and transported to Nazi extermination camps; only a few of them survived. Netherlands_sentence_240

Dutch workers were conscripted for forced labour in Germany, civilians who resisted were killed in reprisal for attacks on German soldiers, and the countryside was plundered for food. Netherlands_sentence_241

Although there were thousands of Dutch who risked their lives by hiding Jews from the Germans, over 20,000 Dutch fascists joined the Waffen SS, fighting on the Eastern Front. Netherlands_sentence_242

Political collaborators were members of the fascist NSB, the only legal political party in the occupied Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_243

On 8 December 1941, the Dutch government-in-exile in London declared war on Japan, but could not prevent the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). Netherlands_sentence_244

In 1944–45, the First Canadian Army, which included Canadian, British and Polish troops, was responsible for liberating much of the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_245

Soon after VE Day, the Dutch fought a colonial war against the new Republic of Indonesia. Netherlands_sentence_246

In 1954, the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands reformed the political structure of the Netherlands, which was a result of international pressure to carry out decolonisation. Netherlands_sentence_247

The Dutch colonies of Surinam and Curaçao and Dependencies and the European country all became countries within the Kingdom, on a basis of equality. Netherlands_sentence_248

Indonesia had declared its independence in August 1945 (recognised in 1949), and thus was never part of the reformed Kingdom. Netherlands_sentence_249

Suriname followed in 1975. Netherlands_sentence_250

After the war the Netherlands left behind an era of neutrality and gained closer ties with neighboring states. Netherlands_sentence_251

The Netherlands was one of the founding members of the Benelux, the NATO, Euratom and the European Coal and Steel Community, which would evolve into the EEC (Common Market) and later the European Union. Netherlands_sentence_252

Government-encouraged emigration efforts to reduce population density prompted some 500,000 Dutch people to leave the country after the war. Netherlands_sentence_253

The 1960s and 1970s were a time of great social and cultural change, such as rapid de-pillarisation characterized by the decay of the old divisions along political and religious lines. Netherlands_sentence_254

Youths, and students in particular, rejected traditional mores and pushed for change in matters such as women's rights, sexuality, disarmament and environmental issues. Netherlands_sentence_255

In 2002, the euro was introduced as fiat money and in 2010, the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved. Netherlands_sentence_256

Referendums were held on each island to determine their future status. Netherlands_sentence_257

As a result, the islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba (the BES islands) were to obtain closer ties with the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_258

This led to the incorporation of these three islands into the country of the Netherlands as special municipalities upon the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles. Netherlands_sentence_259

The special municipalities are collectively known as the Caribbean Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_260

Geography Netherlands_section_14

Main article: Geography of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_261

See also: Low Countries Netherlands_sentence_262

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the European Netherlands has a total area of 41,545 km (16,041 sq mi), including water bodies; and a land area of 33,481 km (12,927 sq mi). Netherlands_sentence_263

The Caribbean Netherlands has a total area of 328 km (127 sq mi) It lies between latitudes 50° and 54° N, and longitudes and 8° E. Netherlands_sentence_264

The Netherlands is geographically very low relative to sea level and is considered a flat country, with about 26% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level, and only about 50% of its land exceeding one metre above sea level. Netherlands_sentence_265

The European part of the country is for the most part flat, with the exception of foothills in the far southeast, up to a height of no more than 321 metres, and some low hill ranges in the central parts. Netherlands_sentence_266

Most of the areas below sea level are man-made, caused by peat extraction or achieved through land reclamation. Netherlands_sentence_267

Since the late 16th century, large polder areas are preserved through elaborate drainage systems that include dikes, canals and pumping stations. Netherlands_sentence_268

Nearly 17% of the country's land area is reclaimed from the sea and from lakes. Netherlands_sentence_269

Much of the country was originally formed by the estuaries of three large European rivers: the Rhine (Rijn), the Meuse (Maas) and the Scheldt (Schelde), as well as their tributaries. Netherlands_sentence_270

The south-western part of the Netherlands is to this day a river delta of these three rivers, the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. Netherlands_sentence_271

The European Netherlands is divided into north and south parts by the Rhine, the Waal, its main tributary branch, and the Meuse. Netherlands_sentence_272

In the past these rivers functioned as a natural barrier between fiefdoms and hence historically created a cultural divide, as is evident in some phonetic traits that are recognisable on either side of what the Dutch call their "Great Rivers" (de Grote Rivieren). Netherlands_sentence_273

Another significant branch of the Rhine, the IJssel river, discharges into Lake IJssel, the former Zuiderzee ('southern sea'). Netherlands_sentence_274

Just like the previous, this river forms a linguistic divide: people to the northeast of this river speak Dutch Low Saxon dialects (except for the province of Friesland, which has its own language). Netherlands_sentence_275

Geology Netherlands_section_15

Main article: Geology of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_276

The modern Netherlands formed as a result of the interplay of the four main rivers (Rhine, Meuse, Schelde and IJssel) and the influence of the North Sea. Netherlands_sentence_277

The Netherlands is mostly composed of deltaic, coastal and eolian derived sediments during the Pleistocene glacial and interglacial periods. Netherlands_sentence_278

Almost all of the west Netherlands is composed of the Rhine-Meuse river estuary, but human intervention greatly modified the natural processes at work. Netherlands_sentence_279

Most of the western Netherlands is below sea level due to the human process of turning standing bodies of water into usable land, a polder. Netherlands_sentence_280

In the east of the Netherlands, remains are found of the last ice age, which ended approximately ten thousand years ago. Netherlands_sentence_281

As the continental ice sheet moved in from the north, it pushed moraine forward. Netherlands_sentence_282

The ice sheet halted as it covered the eastern half of the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_283

After the ice age ended, the moraine remained in the form a long hill-line. Netherlands_sentence_284

The cities of Arnhem and Nijmegen are built upon these hills. Netherlands_sentence_285

Floods Netherlands_section_16

Main articles: Flood control in the Netherlands, Floods in the Netherlands, North Sea flood of 1953, and Storm tides of the North Sea Netherlands_sentence_286

Over the centuries, the Dutch coastline has changed considerably as a result of natural disasters and human intervention. Netherlands_sentence_287

On 14 December 1287, St. Netherlands_sentence_288

Lucia's flood affected the Netherlands and Germany, killing more than 50,000 people in one of the most destructive floods in recorded history. Netherlands_sentence_289

The St. Elizabeth flood of 1421 and the mismanagement in its aftermath destroyed a newly reclaimed polder, replacing it with the 72-square-kilometre (28 sq mi) Biesbosch tidal floodplains in the south-centre. Netherlands_sentence_290

The huge North Sea flood of early February 1953 caused the collapse of several dikes in the south-west of the Netherlands; more than 1,800 people drowned in the flood. Netherlands_sentence_291

The Dutch government subsequently instituted a large-scale programme, the "Delta Works", to protect the country against future flooding, which was completed over a period of more than thirty years. Netherlands_sentence_292

The impact of disasters was, to an extent, increased through human activity. Netherlands_sentence_293

Relatively high-lying swampland was drained to be used as farmland. Netherlands_sentence_294

The drainage caused the fertile peat to contract and ground levels to drop, upon which groundwater levels were lowered to compensate for the drop in ground level, causing the underlying peat to contract further. Netherlands_sentence_295

Additionally, until the 19th century peat was mined, dried, and used for fuel, further exacerbating the problem. Netherlands_sentence_296

Centuries of extensive and poorly controlled peat extraction lowered an already low land surface by several metres. Netherlands_sentence_297

Even in flooded areas, peat extraction continued through turf dredging. Netherlands_sentence_298

Because of the flooding, farming was difficult, which encouraged foreign trade, the result of which was that the Dutch were involved in world affairs since the early 14th/15th century. Netherlands_sentence_299

To guard against floods, a series of defences against the water were contrived. Netherlands_sentence_300

In the first millennium AD, villages and farmhouses were built on man-made hills called terps. Netherlands_sentence_301

Later, these terps were connected by dikes. Netherlands_sentence_302

In the 12th century, local government agencies called "waterschappen" ("water boards") or "hoogheemraadschappen" ("high home councils") started to appear, whose job it was to maintain the water level and to protect a region from floods; these agencies continue to exist. Netherlands_sentence_303

As the ground level dropped, the dikes by necessity grew and merged into an integrated system. Netherlands_sentence_304

By the 13th century windmills had come into use to pump water out of areas below sea level. Netherlands_sentence_305

The windmills were later used to drain lakes, creating the famous polders. Netherlands_sentence_306

In 1932 the Afsluitdijk ("Closure Dike") was completed, blocking the former Zuiderzee (Southern Sea) from the North Sea and thus creating the IJsselmeer (IJssel Lake). Netherlands_sentence_307

It became part of the larger Zuiderzee Works in which four polders totalling 2,500 square kilometres (965 sq mi) were reclaimed from the sea. Netherlands_sentence_308

The Netherlands is one of the countries that may suffer most from climate change. Netherlands_sentence_309

Not only is the rising sea a problem, but erratic weather patterns may cause the rivers to overflow. Netherlands_sentence_310

Delta Works Netherlands_section_17

Main articles: Delta Works and Flood control in the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_311

After the 1953 disaster, the Delta Works was constructed, which is a comprehensive set of civil works throughout the Dutch coast. Netherlands_sentence_312

The project started in 1958 and was largely completed in 1997 with the completion of the Maeslantkering. Netherlands_sentence_313

Since then, new projects have been periodically started to renovate and renew the Delta Works. Netherlands_sentence_314

A main goal of the Delta project was to reduce the risk of flooding in South Holland and Zeeland to once per 10,000 years (compared to once per 4000 years for the rest of the country). Netherlands_sentence_315

This was achieved by raising 3,000 kilometres (1,864 mi) of outer sea-dikes and 10,000 kilometres (6,214 mi) of inner, canal, and river dikes, and by closing off the sea estuaries of the Zeeland province. Netherlands_sentence_316

New risk assessments occasionally show problems requiring additional Delta project dike reinforcements. Netherlands_sentence_317

The Delta project is considered by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Netherlands_sentence_318

It is anticipated that global warming in the 21st century will result in a rise in sea level. Netherlands_sentence_319

The Netherlands is actively preparing for a sea level rise. Netherlands_sentence_320

A politically neutral Delta Commission has formulated an action plan to cope with a sea level rise of 1.10 metres (3.6 ft) and a simultaneous land height decline of 10 centimetres (3.9 in). Netherlands_sentence_321

The plan encompasses the reinforcement of the existing coastal defences like dikes and dunes with 1.30 metres (4.3 ft) of additional flood protection. Netherlands_sentence_322

Climate change will not only threaten the Netherlands from the sea side, but could also alter rainfall patterns and river run-off. Netherlands_sentence_323

To protect the country from river flooding, another program is already being executed. Netherlands_sentence_324

The Room for the River plan grants more flow space to rivers, protects the major populated areas and allows for periodic flooding of indefensible lands. Netherlands_sentence_325

The few residents who lived in these so-called "overflow areas" have been moved to higher ground, with some of that ground having been raised above anticipated flood levels. Netherlands_sentence_326

Climate Netherlands_section_18

The predominant wind direction in the European Netherlands is southwest, which causes a mild maritime climate, with moderately warm summers and cool winters, and typically high humidity. Netherlands_sentence_327

This is especially true close to the Dutch coastline, where the difference in temperature between summer and winter, as well as between day and night is noticeably smaller than it is in the southeast of the country. Netherlands_sentence_328

Ice days—maximum temperature below 0 °C (32 °F)—usually occur from December until February, with the occasional rare ice day prior to or after that period. Netherlands_sentence_329

Freezing days—minimum temperature below 0 °C (32 °F)—occur much more often, usually ranging from mid-November to late March, but not rarely measured as early as mid-October and as late as mid-May. Netherlands_sentence_330

If one chooses the height of measurement to be 10 cm (4 in) above ground instead of 150 cm (59 in), one may even find such temperatures in the middle of the summer. Netherlands_sentence_331

On average, snow can occur from November to April, but sometimes occurs in May or October too. Netherlands_sentence_332

Warm days—maximum temperature above 20 °C (68 °F)—are usually found in April to October, but in some parts of the country these warm days can also occur in March, or even sometimes in November or February (usually not in De Bilt, however). Netherlands_sentence_333

Summer days—maximum temperature above 25 °C (77 °F)—are usually measured in De Bilt from May until September, tropical days—maximum temperature above 30 °C (86 °F)—are rare and usually occur only in June to August. Netherlands_sentence_334

Precipitation throughout the year is distributed relatively equally each month. Netherlands_sentence_335

Summer and autumn months tend to gather a little more precipitation than the other months, mainly because of the intensity of the rainfall rather than the frequency of rain days (this is especially the case in summer, when lightning is also much more frequent). Netherlands_sentence_336

The number of sunshine hours is affected by the fact that because of the geographical latitude, the length of the days varies between barely eight hours in December and nearly 17 hours in June. Netherlands_sentence_337

The following tables are based on mean measurements by the KNMI weather station in De Bilt between 1981 and 2010. Netherlands_sentence_338

The highest recorded temperature was reached on 25 July 2019. Netherlands_sentence_339

Climate change Netherlands_section_19

Temperature records Netherlands_section_20


Absolute temperature rangesNetherlands_header_cell_1_0_0
MonthNetherlands_header_cell_1_1_0 Highest maximum temperaturesNetherlands_header_cell_1_1_1 Lowest minimum temperaturesNetherlands_header_cell_1_1_4
°CNetherlands_header_cell_1_2_0 °FNetherlands_header_cell_1_2_1 Location and dateNetherlands_header_cell_1_2_2 °CNetherlands_header_cell_1_2_3 °FNetherlands_header_cell_1_2_4 Location and dateNetherlands_header_cell_1_2_5
JanuaryNetherlands_header_cell_1_3_0 16.5Netherlands_cell_1_3_1 61.7Netherlands_cell_1_3_2 Netherlands_cell_1_3_3 −24.7Netherlands_cell_1_3_4 −12.5Netherlands_cell_1_3_5 Netherlands_cell_1_3_6
FebruaryNetherlands_header_cell_1_4_0 20.5Netherlands_cell_1_4_1 68.9Netherlands_cell_1_4_2 Netherlands_cell_1_4_3 −25.2Netherlands_cell_1_4_4 −13.4Netherlands_cell_1_4_5 Netherlands_cell_1_4_6
MarchNetherlands_header_cell_1_5_0 25.4Netherlands_cell_1_5_1 77.7Netherlands_cell_1_5_2 Netherlands_cell_1_5_3 −20.7Netherlands_cell_1_5_4 −5.3Netherlands_cell_1_5_5 Netherlands_cell_1_5_6
AprilNetherlands_header_cell_1_6_0 30.5Netherlands_cell_1_6_1 86.9Netherlands_cell_1_6_2 Netherlands_cell_1_6_3 −9.4Netherlands_cell_1_6_4 15.1Netherlands_cell_1_6_5 Netherlands_cell_1_6_6
MayNetherlands_header_cell_1_7_0 34.9Netherlands_cell_1_7_1 94.8Netherlands_cell_1_7_2 Netherlands_cell_1_7_3 −4.5Netherlands_cell_1_7_4 23.9Netherlands_cell_1_7_5 Netherlands_cell_1_7_6
JuneNetherlands_header_cell_1_8_0 37.2Netherlands_cell_1_8_1 99.0Netherlands_cell_1_8_2 Netherlands_cell_1_8_3 −0.9Netherlands_cell_1_8_4 30.4Netherlands_cell_1_8_5 Netherlands_cell_1_8_6
JulyNetherlands_header_cell_1_9_0 40.7Netherlands_cell_1_9_1 105.3Netherlands_cell_1_9_2 Netherlands_cell_1_9_3 2.0Netherlands_cell_1_9_4 35.6Netherlands_cell_1_9_5 Netherlands_cell_1_9_6
AugustNetherlands_header_cell_1_10_0 37.8Netherlands_cell_1_10_1 100.0Netherlands_cell_1_10_2 Netherlands_cell_1_10_3 1.3Netherlands_cell_1_10_4 34.3Netherlands_cell_1_10_5 Netherlands_cell_1_10_6
SeptemberNetherlands_header_cell_1_11_0 34.2Netherlands_cell_1_11_1 93.6Netherlands_cell_1_11_2 Netherlands_cell_1_11_3 −3.5Netherlands_cell_1_11_4 25.7Netherlands_cell_1_11_5 Netherlands_cell_1_11_6
OctoberNetherlands_header_cell_1_12_0 28.7Netherlands_cell_1_12_1 83.7Netherlands_cell_1_12_2 Netherlands_cell_1_12_3 −8.5Netherlands_cell_1_12_4 16.7Netherlands_cell_1_12_5 Netherlands_cell_1_12_6
NovemberNetherlands_header_cell_1_13_0 22.0Netherlands_cell_1_13_1 71.6Netherlands_cell_1_13_2 Netherlands_cell_1_13_3 −15.0Netherlands_cell_1_13_4 5.0Netherlands_cell_1_13_5 Netherlands_cell_1_13_6
DecemberNetherlands_header_cell_1_14_0 16.7Netherlands_cell_1_14_1 62.1Netherlands_cell_1_14_2 Netherlands_cell_1_14_3 −22.0Netherlands_cell_1_14_4 −7.6Netherlands_cell_1_14_5 Netherlands_cell_1_14_6


Absolute temperature rangesNetherlands_header_cell_2_0_0
MonthNetherlands_header_cell_2_1_0 Highest Minimum temperaturesNetherlands_header_cell_2_1_1 Lowest maximum temperaturesNetherlands_header_cell_2_1_4
°CNetherlands_header_cell_2_2_0 °FNetherlands_header_cell_2_2_1 Location and dateNetherlands_header_cell_2_2_2 °CNetherlands_header_cell_2_2_3 °FNetherlands_header_cell_2_2_4 Location and dateNetherlands_header_cell_2_2_5
JanuaryNetherlands_header_cell_2_3_0 12.6Netherlands_cell_2_3_1 54.7Netherlands_cell_2_3_2 Netherlands_cell_2_3_3 −13.3Netherlands_cell_2_3_4 8.1Netherlands_cell_2_3_5 Netherlands_cell_2_3_6
FebruaryNetherlands_header_cell_2_4_0 12.6Netherlands_cell_2_4_1 54.7Netherlands_cell_2_4_2 Netherlands_cell_2_4_3 −13.2Netherlands_cell_2_4_4 8.2Netherlands_cell_2_4_5 Netherlands_cell_2_4_6
MarchNetherlands_header_cell_2_5_0 12.8Netherlands_cell_2_5_1 55.0Netherlands_cell_2_5_2 Netherlands_cell_2_5_3 −5.8Netherlands_cell_2_5_4 21.6Netherlands_cell_2_5_5 Netherlands_cell_2_5_6
AprilNetherlands_header_cell_2_6_0 15.7Netherlands_cell_2_6_1 60.3Netherlands_cell_2_6_2 Netherlands_cell_2_6_3 −0.5Netherlands_cell_2_6_4 31.1Netherlands_cell_2_6_5 Netherlands_cell_2_6_6
MayNetherlands_header_cell_2_7_0 18.8Netherlands_cell_2_7_1 65.8Netherlands_cell_2_7_2 Netherlands_cell_2_7_3 5.1Netherlands_cell_2_7_4 41.2Netherlands_cell_2_7_5 Netherlands_cell_2_7_6
JuneNetherlands_header_cell_2_8_0 21.9Netherlands_cell_2_8_1 71.4Netherlands_cell_2_8_2 Netherlands_cell_2_8_3 8.9Netherlands_cell_2_8_4 48.0Netherlands_cell_2_8_5 Netherlands_cell_2_8_6
JulyNetherlands_header_cell_2_9_0 24.4Netherlands_cell_2_9_1 75.9Netherlands_cell_2_9_2 Netherlands_cell_2_9_3 10.7Netherlands_cell_2_9_4 51.3Netherlands_cell_2_9_5 Netherlands_cell_2_9_6
AugustNetherlands_header_cell_2_10_0 23.1Netherlands_cell_2_10_1 73.6Netherlands_cell_2_10_2 Netherlands_cell_2_10_3 11.6Netherlands_cell_2_10_4 52.9Netherlands_cell_2_10_5 Netherlands_cell_2_10_6
SeptemberNetherlands_header_cell_2_11_0 20.9Netherlands_cell_2_11_1 69.6Netherlands_cell_2_11_2 Netherlands_cell_2_11_3 8.0Netherlands_cell_2_11_4 46.4Netherlands_cell_2_11_5 Netherlands_cell_2_11_6
OctoberNetherlands_header_cell_2_12_0 18.0Netherlands_cell_2_12_1 64.4Netherlands_cell_2_12_2 Netherlands_cell_2_12_3 −0.2Netherlands_cell_2_12_4 31.6Netherlands_cell_2_12_5 Netherlands_cell_2_12_6
NovemberNetherlands_header_cell_2_13_0 14.8Netherlands_cell_2_13_1 58.6Netherlands_cell_2_13_2 Netherlands_cell_2_13_3 −5.5Netherlands_cell_2_13_4 22.1Netherlands_cell_2_13_5 Netherlands_cell_2_13_6
DecemberNetherlands_header_cell_2_14_0 12.7Netherlands_cell_2_14_1 54.9Netherlands_cell_2_14_2 Netherlands_cell_2_14_3 −12.0Netherlands_cell_2_14_4 10.4Netherlands_cell_2_14_5 Netherlands_cell_2_14_6

Nature Netherlands_section_21

Further information: List of national parks of the Netherlands and List of extinct animals of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_340

The Netherlands has 20 national parks and hundreds of other nature reserves, that include lakes, heathland, woods, dunes and other habitats. Netherlands_sentence_341

Most of these are owned by Staatsbosbeheer, the national department for forestry and nature conservation and Natuurmonumenten (literally 'Natures monuments'), a private organisation that buys, protects and manages nature reserves. Netherlands_sentence_342

The Dutch part of the Wadden Sea in the north, with its tidal flats and wetlands, is rich in biological diversity, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Nature Site in 2009. Netherlands_sentence_343

The Oosterschelde, formerly the northeast estuary of the river Scheldt was designated a national park in 2002, thereby making it the largest national park in the Netherlands at an area of 370 square kilometres (140 sq mi). Netherlands_sentence_344

It consists primarily of the salt waters of the Oosterschelde, but also includes mud flats, meadows, and shoals. Netherlands_sentence_345

Because of the large variety of sea life, including unique regional species, the park is popular with Scuba divers. Netherlands_sentence_346

Other activities include sailing, fishing, cycling, and bird watching. Netherlands_sentence_347

Phytogeographically, the European Netherlands is shared between the Atlantic European and Central European provinces of the Circumboreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. Netherlands_sentence_348

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the European territory of the Netherlands belongs to the ecoregion of Atlantic mixed forests. Netherlands_sentence_349

In 1871, the last old original natural woods were cut down, and most woods today are planted monocultures of trees like Scots pine and trees that are not native to the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_350

These woods were planted on anthropogenic heaths and sand-drifts (overgrazed heaths) (Veluwe). Netherlands_sentence_351

Caribbean islands Netherlands_section_22

Main articles: Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius Netherlands_sentence_352

While Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten have a constituent country status, the Caribbean Netherlands are three islands designated as special municipalities of the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_353

The islands are part of the Lesser Antilles and have maritime borders with Anguilla, Curaçao, France (Saint Martin and Saint Barthélemy), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sint Maarten, the U.S. Netherlands_sentence_354

Virgin Islands and Venezuela. Netherlands_sentence_355

Within this island group: Netherlands_sentence_356


The islands of the Caribbean Netherlands enjoy a tropical climate with warm weather all year round. Netherlands_sentence_357

The Leeward Antilles are warmer and drier than the Windward islands. Netherlands_sentence_358

In summer, the Windward Islands can be subject to hurricanes. Netherlands_sentence_359

Politics Netherlands_section_23

The Netherlands has been a constitutional monarchy since 1815, and due to the efforts of Johan Rudolph Thorbecke, became a parliamentary democracy in 1848. Netherlands_sentence_360

The Netherlands is described as a consociational state. Netherlands_sentence_361

Dutch politics and governance are characterised by an effort to achieve broad consensus on important issues, within both the political community and society as a whole. Netherlands_sentence_362

In 2017, The Economist ranked the Netherlands as the 11th most democratic country in the world. Netherlands_sentence_363

The monarch is the head of state, at present King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_364

Constitutionally, the position is equipped with limited powers. Netherlands_sentence_365

By law, the King has the right to be periodically briefed and consulted on government affairs. Netherlands_sentence_366

Depending on the personalities and relationships of the King and the ministers, the monarch might have influence beyond the power granted by the Constitution of the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_367

The executive power is formed by the Council of Ministers, the deliberative organ of the Dutch cabinet. Netherlands_sentence_368

The cabinet usually consists of 13 to 16 ministers and a varying number of state secretaries. Netherlands_sentence_369

One to three ministers are ministers without portfolio. Netherlands_sentence_370

The head of government is the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, who often is the leader of the largest party of the coalition. Netherlands_sentence_371

The Prime Minister is a primus inter pares, with no explicit powers beyond those of the other ministers. Netherlands_sentence_372

Mark Rutte has been Prime Minister since October 2010; the Prime Minister had been the leader of the largest party continuously since 1973. Netherlands_sentence_373

The cabinet is responsible to the bicameral parliament, the States General, which also has legislative powers. Netherlands_sentence_374

The 150 members of the House of Representatives, the lower house, are elected in direct elections on the basis of party-list proportional representation. Netherlands_sentence_375

These are held every four years, or sooner in case the cabinet falls (for example: when one of the chambers carries a motion of no confidence, the cabinet offers its resignation to the monarch). Netherlands_sentence_376

The States-Provincial are directly elected every four years as well. Netherlands_sentence_377

The members of the provincial assemblies elect the 75 members of the Senate, the upper house, which has the power to reject laws, but not propose or amend them. Netherlands_sentence_378

Both houses send members to the Benelux Parliament, a consultative council. Netherlands_sentence_379

Political culture Netherlands_section_24

Both trade unions and employers organisations are consulted beforehand in policymaking in the financial, economic and social areas. Netherlands_sentence_380

They meet regularly with the government in the Social-Economic Council. Netherlands_sentence_381

This body advises government and its advice cannot be put aside easily. Netherlands_sentence_382

The Netherlands has a long tradition of social tolerance. Netherlands_sentence_383

In the 18th century, while the Dutch Reformed Church was the state religion, Catholicism, other forms of Protestantism, such as Baptists and Lutherans, as well as Judaism were tolerated but discriminated against. Netherlands_sentence_384

In the late 19th century this Dutch tradition of religious tolerance transformed into a system of pillarisation, in which religious groups coexisted separately and only interacted at the level of government. Netherlands_sentence_385

This tradition of tolerance influences Dutch criminal justice policies on recreational drugs, prostitution, LGBT rights, euthanasia, and abortion, which are among the most liberal in the world. Netherlands_sentence_386

Political parties Netherlands_section_25

Main articles: Political parties of the Netherlands and Politics of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_387

Because of the multi-party system, no single party has held a majority in parliament since the 19th century, as a result, coalition cabinets had to be formed. Netherlands_sentence_388

Since suffrage became universal in 1917, the Dutch political system has been dominated by three families of political parties: the strongest of which were the Christian Democrats, currently represented by the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA); second were the Social Democrats, represented by the Labour Party (PvdA); and third were the Liberals, of which the right-wing People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) is the main representative. Netherlands_sentence_389

These parties co-operated in coalition cabinets in which the Christian Democrats had always been a partner: so either a centre-left coalition of the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats was ruling or a centre-right coalition of Christian Democrats and Liberals. Netherlands_sentence_390

In the 1970s, the party system became more volatile: the Christian Democratic parties lost seats, while new parties became successful, such as the radical democrat and progressive liberal Democrats 66 (D66) or the ecologist party GroenLinks (GL). Netherlands_sentence_391

In the 1994 election, the CDA lost its dominant position. Netherlands_sentence_392

A "purple" cabinet was formed by the VVD, D66, and PvdA. Netherlands_sentence_393

In the 2002 elections, this cabinet lost its majority, because of an increased support for the CDA and the rise of the right LPF, a new political party, around Pim Fortuyn, who was assassinated a week before the elections. Netherlands_sentence_394

A short-lived cabinet was formed by CDA, VVD, and LPF, which was led by the CDA Leader Jan Peter Balkenende. Netherlands_sentence_395

After the 2003 elections, in which the LPF lost most of its seats, a cabinet was formed by the CDA, VVD, and D66. Netherlands_sentence_396

The cabinet initiated an ambitious programme of reforming the welfare state, the healthcare system, and immigration policy. Netherlands_sentence_397

In June 2006, the cabinet fell after D66 voted in favour of a motion of no confidence against the Minister of Immigration and Integration, Rita Verdonk, who had instigated an investigation of the asylum procedure of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a VVD MP. Netherlands_sentence_398

A caretaker cabinet was formed by the CDA and VVD, and general elections were held on 22 November 2006. Netherlands_sentence_399

In these elections, the CDA remained the largest party and the Socialist Party made the largest gains. Netherlands_sentence_400

The formation of a new cabinet took three months, resulting in a coalition of CDA, PvdA, and Christian Union. Netherlands_sentence_401

On 20 February 2010, the cabinet fell when the PvdA refused to prolong the involvement of the Dutch Army in Uruzgan, Afghanistan. Netherlands_sentence_402

Snap elections were held on 9 June 2010, with devastating results for the previously largest party, the CDA, which lost about half of its seats, resulting in 21 seats. Netherlands_sentence_403

The VVD became the largest party with 31 seats, closely followed by the PvdA with 30 seats. Netherlands_sentence_404

The big winner of the 2010 elections was Geert Wilders, whose right wing PVV, the ideological successor to the LPF, more than doubled its number of seats. Netherlands_sentence_405

Negotiation talks for a new government resulted in a minority government, led by VVD (a first) in coalition with CDA, which was sworn in on 14 October 2010. Netherlands_sentence_406

This unprecedented minority government was supported by PVV, but proved ultimately to be unstable, when on 21 April 2012, Wilders, leader of PVV, unexpectedly 'torpedoed seven weeks of austerity talks' on new austerity measures, paving the way for early elections. Netherlands_sentence_407

VVD and PvdA won a majority in the House of Representatives during the 2012 general election. Netherlands_sentence_408

On 5 November 2012 they formed the second Rutte cabinet. Netherlands_sentence_409

After the 2017 general election, VVD, Christian Democratic Appeal, Democrats 66 and ChristenUnie formed the third Rutte cabinet. Netherlands_sentence_410

Government Netherlands_section_26

Main article: Government of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_411

Administrative divisions Netherlands_section_27

Main articles: Provinces of the Netherlands, Municipalities of the Netherlands, Water board (Netherlands), and Public body (Netherlands) Netherlands_sentence_412

The Netherlands is divided into twelve provinces, each under a King's Commissioner (Commissaris van de Koning). Netherlands_sentence_413

Informally in Limburg province this position is named Governor (Gouverneur). Netherlands_sentence_414

All provinces are divided into municipalities (gemeenten), of which there are 355 (2019). Netherlands_sentence_415

The country is also subdivided into 21 water districts (as of 2018), governed by a water board (waterschap or hoogheemraadschap), each having authority in matters concerning water management. Netherlands_sentence_416

The creation of water boards actually pre-dates that of the nation itself, the first appearing in 1196. Netherlands_sentence_417

The Dutch water boards are among the oldest democratic entities in the world still in existence. Netherlands_sentence_418

Direct elections of the water boards take place every 4 years. Netherlands_sentence_419

The administrative structure on the 3 BES islands, collectively known as the Caribbean Netherlands, is outside the twelve provinces. Netherlands_sentence_420

These islands have the status of openbare lichamen (public bodies). Netherlands_sentence_421

In the Netherlands these administrative units are often referred to as special municipalities. Netherlands_sentence_422

The Netherlands has several Belgian exclaves and within those even several enclaves which are part of the province of North Brabant. Netherlands_sentence_423

Because the Netherlands and Belgium are both in the Benelux, and more recently in the Schengen Area, citizens of respective countries can travel through these enclaves without controls. Netherlands_sentence_424

Foreign relations Netherlands_section_28

Main articles: Foreign relations of the Netherlands and List of diplomatic missions of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_425

The history of Dutch foreign policy has been characterised by its neutrality. Netherlands_sentence_426

Since World War II, the Netherlands has become a member of a large number of international organisations, most prominently the UN, NATO and the EU. Netherlands_sentence_427

The Dutch economy is very open and relies strongly on international trade. Netherlands_sentence_428

The foreign policy of the Netherlands is based on four basic commitments: to Atlantic co-operation, to European integration, to international development and to international law. Netherlands_sentence_429

One of the more controversial international issues surrounding the Netherlands is its liberal policy towards soft drugs. Netherlands_sentence_430

During and after the Dutch Golden Age, the Dutch people built up a commercial and colonial empire. Netherlands_sentence_431

The most important colonies were present-day Suriname and Indonesia. Netherlands_sentence_432

Indonesia became independent after the Indonesian National Revolution in the 1940s following a war of independence, international pressure and several United Nations Security Council resolutions. Netherlands_sentence_433

Suriname became independent in 1975. Netherlands_sentence_434

The historical ties inherited from its colonial past still influence the foreign relations of the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_435

In addition, many people from these countries are living permanently in the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_436

Military Netherlands_section_29

Main article: Armed forces of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_437

The Netherlands has one of the oldest standing armies in Europe; it was first established as such by Maurice of Nassau in the late 1500s. Netherlands_sentence_438

The Dutch army was used throughout the Dutch Empire. Netherlands_sentence_439

After the defeat of Napoleon, the Dutch army was transformed into a conscription army. Netherlands_sentence_440

The army was unsuccessfully deployed during the Belgian Revolution in 1830. Netherlands_sentence_441

After 1830, it was deployed mainly in the Dutch colonies, as the Netherlands remained neutral in European wars (including the First World War), until the Netherlands was invaded in World War II and defeated by the Wehrmacht in May 1940. Netherlands_sentence_442

The Netherlands abandoned its neutrality in 1948 when it signed the Treaty of Brussels, and became a founding member of NATO in 1949. Netherlands_sentence_443

The Dutch military was therefore part of the NATO strength in Cold War Europe, deploying its army to several bases in Germany. Netherlands_sentence_444

More than 3,000 Dutch soldiers were assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division of the United States Army during the Korean War. Netherlands_sentence_445

In 1996 conscription was suspended, and the Dutch army was once again transformed into a professional army. Netherlands_sentence_446

Since the 1990s the Dutch army has been involved in the Bosnian War and the Kosovo War, it held a province in Iraq after the defeat of Saddam Hussein, and it was engaged in Afghanistan. Netherlands_sentence_447

The military is composed of four branches, all of which carry the prefix Koninklijke (Royal): Netherlands_sentence_448


The submarine service is open to women as of 1 January 2017. Netherlands_sentence_449

The Korps Commandotroepen, the Special Operations Force of the Netherlands Army, is open to women, but because of the extremely high physical demands for initial training, it is almost impossible for a woman to become a commando. Netherlands_sentence_450

The Dutch Ministry of Defence employs more than 70,000 personnel, including over 20,000 civilians and over 50,000 military personnel. Netherlands_sentence_451

In April 2011 the government announced a major reduction in its military because of a cut in government expenditure, including a decrease in the number of tanks, fighter aircraft, naval ships and senior officials. Netherlands_sentence_452

The Netherlands has ratified many international conventions concerning war law. Netherlands_sentence_453

The Netherlands decided not to sign the UN treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Netherlands_sentence_454

Economy Netherlands_section_30

Main article: Economy of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_455

The Netherlands has a developed economy and has been playing a special role in the European economy for many centuries. Netherlands_sentence_456

Since the 16th century, shipping, fishing, agriculture, trade, and banking have been leading sectors of the Dutch economy. Netherlands_sentence_457

The Netherlands has a high level of economic freedom. Netherlands_sentence_458

The Netherlands is one of the top countries in the Global Enabling Trade Report (2nd in 2016), and was ranked the fifth most competitive economy in the world by the Swiss International Institute for Management Development in 2017. Netherlands_sentence_459

In addition, the country was ranked the second most innovative nation in the world in the 2018 Global Innovation Index. Netherlands_sentence_460

As of 2020, the key trading partners of the Netherlands were Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Italy, China and Russia. Netherlands_sentence_461

The Netherlands is one of the world's 10 leading exporting countries. Netherlands_sentence_462

Foodstuffs form the largest industrial sector. Netherlands_sentence_463

Other major industries include chemicals, metallurgy, machinery, electrical goods, trade, services and tourism. Netherlands_sentence_464

Examples of international Dutch companies operating in Netherlands include Randstad, Unilever, Heineken, KLM, financial services (ING, ABN AMRO, Rabobank), chemicals (DSM, AKZO), petroleum refining (Royal Dutch Shell), electronical machinery (Philips, ASML), and satellite navigation (TomTom). Netherlands_sentence_465

The Netherlands has the 17th-largest economy in the world, and ranks 10th in GDP (nominal) per capita. Netherlands_sentence_466

Between 1997 and 2000 annual economic growth (GDP) averaged nearly 4%, well above the European average. Netherlands_sentence_467

Growth slowed considerably from 2001 to 2005 with the global economic slowdown, but accelerated to 4.1% in the third quarter of 2007. Netherlands_sentence_468

In May 2013, inflation was at 2.8% per year. Netherlands_sentence_469

In April 2013, unemployment was at 8.2% (or 6.7% following the ILO definition) of the labour force. Netherlands_sentence_470

In February 2019, this was reduced to 3.4%. Netherlands_sentence_471

In Q3 and Q4 2011, the Dutch economy contracted by 0.4% and 0.7%, respectively, because of European Debt Crisis, while in Q4 the Eurozone economy shrunk by 0.3%. Netherlands_sentence_472

The Netherlands also has a relatively low GINI coefficient of 0.326. Netherlands_sentence_473

Despite ranking 7th in GDP per capita, UNICEF ranked the Netherlands 1st in child well-being in rich countries, both in 2007 and in 2013. Netherlands_sentence_474

On the Index of Economic Freedom Netherlands is the 13th most free market capitalist economy out of 157 surveyed countries. Netherlands_sentence_475

Amsterdam is the financial and business capital of the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_476

The Amsterdam Stock Exchange (AEX), part of Euronext, is the world's oldest stock exchange and is one of Europe's largest bourses. Netherlands_sentence_477

It is situated near Dam Square in the city's centre. Netherlands_sentence_478

As a founding member of the euro, the Netherlands replaced (for accounting purposes) its former currency, the "gulden" (guilder), on 1 January 1999, along with 15 other adopters of the euro. Netherlands_sentence_479

Actual euro coins and banknotes followed on 1 January 2002. Netherlands_sentence_480

One euro was equivalent to 2.20371 Dutch guilders. Netherlands_sentence_481

In the Caribbean Netherlands, the United States dollar is used instead of the euro. Netherlands_sentence_482

The Dutch location gives it prime access to markets in the UK and Germany, with the Port of Rotterdam being the largest port in Europe. Netherlands_sentence_483

Other important parts of the economy are international trade (Dutch colonialism started with co-operative private enterprises such as the Dutch East India Company), banking and transport. Netherlands_sentence_484

The Netherlands successfully addressed the issue of public finances and stagnating job growth long before its European partners. Netherlands_sentence_485

Amsterdam is the 5th-busiest tourist destination in Europe with more than 4.2 million international visitors. Netherlands_sentence_486

Since the enlargement of the EU large numbers of migrant workers have arrived in the Netherlands from Central and Eastern Europe. Netherlands_sentence_487

The Netherlands continues to be one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment and is one of the five largest investors in the United States. Netherlands_sentence_488

The economy experienced a slowdown in 2005, but in 2006 recovered to the fastest pace in six years on the back of increased exports and strong investment. Netherlands_sentence_489

The pace of job growth reached 10-year highs in 2007. Netherlands_sentence_490

The Netherlands is the fourth-most competitive economy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report. Netherlands_sentence_491

Natural gas Netherlands_section_31

Beginning in the 1950s, the Netherlands discovered huge natural gas resources. Netherlands_sentence_492

The sale of natural gas generated enormous revenues for the Netherlands for decades, adding hundreds of billions of euros to the government's budget. Netherlands_sentence_493

However, the unforeseen consequences of the country's huge energy wealth impacted the competitiveness of other sectors of the economy, leading to the theory of Dutch disease. Netherlands_sentence_494

Apart from coal and gas, the country has no mining resources. Netherlands_sentence_495

The last coal mine was closed in 1974. Netherlands_sentence_496

The Groningen gas field, one of the largest natural-gas fields in the world, is situated near Slochteren. Netherlands_sentence_497

Exploitation of this field has resulted in €159 billion in revenue since the mid-1970s. Netherlands_sentence_498

The field is operated by government-owned Gasunie and output is jointly exploited by the government, Royal Dutch Shell, and Exxon Mobil through NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij). Netherlands_sentence_499

"Gas extraction has resulted in increasingly strong earth tremors, some measuring as much as 3.6 on the Richter magnitude scale. Netherlands_sentence_500

The cost of damage repairs, structural improvements to buildings, and compensation for home value decreases has been estimated at 6.5 billion euros. Netherlands_sentence_501

Around 35,000 homes are said to be affected." Netherlands_sentence_502

The Netherlands have an estimated 25% of natural gas reserves in the EU. Netherlands_sentence_503

The energy sector accounted for almost 11% of the GDP in 2014. Netherlands_sentence_504

Netherlands's economy, mainly due to the large shares of natural gas reserves, is considered to have "very high" energy intensity rating. Netherlands_sentence_505

Netherlands is faced with future challenges as the energy supply is forecasted to fall short of the demand by the year 2025 in the gas sector. Netherlands_sentence_506

This is attributed to the depletion of Netherlands's major gas field, Groningen, and the earthquakes that have hit the Groningen region. Netherlands_sentence_507

In addition, there is ambiguity surrounding the feasibility of producing unconventional gas. Netherlands_sentence_508

Netherlands relies heavily on natural gas to provide energy. Netherlands_sentence_509

Gas is the main source of heating for households in Netherlands and represented 35% of the energy mix in 2014. Netherlands_sentence_510

Furthermore, The European Union 2020 package (20% reduction in GHG emissions, 20% renewables in the energy mix and 20% improvement in energy efficiency) enacted in 2009 has influenced the domestic energy politics of Netherlands and pressured non-state actors to give consent to more aggressive energy reforms that would reduce reliance on natural resources as a source of income to the economy. Netherlands_sentence_511

Therefore, a transition towards renewable energy has been a key objective by Netherlands in order to safeguard the energy security of the country from natural resources depletion, mainly gas. Netherlands_sentence_512

Netherlands has set a 14% renewable energy target of the total energy mix by the year 2020. Netherlands_sentence_513

However, the continuation of providing tax breaks to electricity generated by coal and gas, and to the exploration and extraction of gas from fields that are "insufficiently" profitable, renders a successful transition towards renewable energy more difficult to achieve due to inconsistencies in the policy mix. Netherlands_sentence_514

In 2011, it was estimated that the renewable energy sector received 31% (EUR 743MM), while the conventional energy sector received 69% (EUR 1.6B), of the total energy subsidies by the government. Netherlands_sentence_515

Furthermore, the energy market in Netherlands remains to be dominated by few major corporations Nuon, RWE, E.ON, Eneco and Delta that have significant influence over the energy policy. Netherlands_sentence_516

Renewable energy share in the energy mix is estimated to reach 12.4% by the year 2020, falling 1.6% short of the 14% target. Netherlands_sentence_517

Agriculture and natural resources Netherlands_section_32

From a biological resource perspective, the Netherlands has a low endowment: the Netherlands’ biocapacity adds up to only 0.8 global hectares in 2016, 0.2 of which are dedicated to agriculture. Netherlands_sentence_518

The Dutch biocapacity per person is just about half of the 1.6 global hectares of biocapacity per person available worldwide. Netherlands_sentence_519

In contrast, in 2016, the Dutch used on average 4.8 global hectares of biocapacity - their ecological footprint of consumption. Netherlands_sentence_520

This means the Dutch required nearly six times as much biocapacity as the Netherlands contains. Netherlands_sentence_521

As a result, the Netherlands was running a biocapacity deficit of 4.0 global hectares per person in 2016. Netherlands_sentence_522

The Dutch agricultural sector is highly mechanised, and has a strong focus on international exports. Netherlands_sentence_523

It employs about 4% of the Dutch labour force but produces large surpluses in the food-processing industry and accounts for 21 percent of the Dutch total export value. Netherlands_sentence_524

The Dutch rank first in the European Union and second worldwide in value of agricultural exports, behind only the United States, with agricultural exports earning €80.7 billion in 2014, up from €75.4 billion in 2012. Netherlands_sentence_525

In 2019 agricultural exports were worth €94.5 billion. Netherlands_sentence_526

One-third of the world's exports of chilis, tomatoes and cucumbers goes through the country. Netherlands_sentence_527

The Netherlands also exports one-fifteenth of the world's apples. Netherlands_sentence_528

Aside from that, a significant portion of Dutch agricultural exports consists of fresh-cut plants, flowers, and flower bulbs, with the Netherlands exporting two-thirds of the world's total. Netherlands_sentence_529

Transport Netherlands_section_33

Main article: Transport in the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_530

Mobility on Dutch roads has grown continuously since the 1950s and now exceeds 200 billion km travelled per year, three quarters of which are done by car. Netherlands_sentence_531

Around half of all trips in the Netherlands are made by car, 25% by bicycle, 20% walking, and 5% by public transport. Netherlands_sentence_532

Road transport Netherlands_section_34

With a total road network of 139,295 km, which includes 2,758 km of expressways, the Netherlands has one of the densest road networks in the world—much denser than Germany and France, but still not as dense as Belgium. Netherlands_sentence_533

As part of its commitment to environmental sustainability, the Government of the Netherlands initiated a plan to establish over 200 recharging stations for electric vehicles across the country. Netherlands_sentence_534

The rollout will be undertaken by Switzerland-based power and automation company ABB and Dutch startup Fastned, and will aim to provide at least one station within a 50-kilometre radius (30 miles) from every home in the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_535

Public transport Netherlands_section_35

About 13% of all distance is travelled by public transport, the majority of which by train. Netherlands_sentence_536

Like in many other European countries, the Dutch rail network of 3,013 km route is also rather dense. Netherlands_sentence_537

The network is mostly focused on passenger rail services and connects all major towns and cities, with over 400 stations. Netherlands_sentence_538

Trains are frequent, with two trains per hour on lesser lines, two to four trains per hour on average, and up to eight trains an hour on the busiest lines. Netherlands_sentence_539

The Dutch national train network also includes the HSL-Zuid, a high-speed line between the Amsterdam metropolitan area and the Belgian border for trains running from Paris and London to the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_540

Cycling Netherlands_section_36

Cycling is a ubiquitous mode of transport in the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_541

Almost as many kilometres are covered by bicycle as by train. Netherlands_sentence_542

The Dutch are estimated to have at least 18 million bicycles, which makes more than one per capita, and twice as many as the circa 9 million motor vehicles on the road. Netherlands_sentence_543

In 2013, the European Cyclists' Federation ranked both the Netherlands and Denmark as the most bike-friendly countries in Europe, but more of the Dutch (36%) than of the Danes (23%) list the bike as their most frequent mode of transport on a typical day. Netherlands_sentence_544

Cycling infrastructure is comprehensive. Netherlands_sentence_545

Busy roads have received some 35,000 km of dedicated cycle tracks, physically segregated from motorised traffic. Netherlands_sentence_546

Busy junctions are often equipped with bicycle-specific traffic lights. Netherlands_sentence_547

There are large bicycle parking facilities, particularly in city centres and at train stations. Netherlands_sentence_548

Water transport Netherlands_section_37

The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, with the rivers Meuse and Rhine providing excellent access to the hinterland upstream reaching to Basel, Switzerland, and into Germany and France. Netherlands_sentence_549

As of 2013, Rotterdam was the world's eighth largest container port handling 440.5 million metric tonnes of cargo annually. Netherlands_sentence_550

The port's main activities are petrochemical industries and general cargo handling and transshipment. Netherlands_sentence_551

The harbour functions as an important transit point for bulk materials and between the European continent and overseas. Netherlands_sentence_552

From Rotterdam goods are transported by ship, river barge, train or road. Netherlands_sentence_553

The Volkeraksluizen between Rotterdam and Antwerp are the biggest sluices for inland navigation in the world in terms of tonnage passing through them. Netherlands_sentence_554

In 2007, the Betuweroute, a new fast freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany, was completed. Netherlands_sentence_555

Air transport Netherlands_section_38

Schiphol Airport, just southwest of Amsterdam, is the main international airport in the Netherlands, and the third busiest airport in Europe in terms of passengers. Netherlands_sentence_556

In 2016, the Royal Schiphol Group airports handled 70 million passengers. Netherlands_sentence_557

Smaller international airports in the country include Eindhoven Airport, Maastricht Aachen Airport and Groningen Airport Eelde. Netherlands_sentence_558

Demographics Netherlands_section_39

Main article: Demography of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_559

The Netherlands had an estimated population of 17,418,808 as of 31 May 2020. Netherlands_sentence_560

It is the 5th most densely populated country in Europe, and except for the very small city-states like Monaco, Vatican City and San Marino it is the most densely populated country in Europe. Netherlands_sentence_561

And it is the 12th most densely populated country in the world with a density of 521 per square kilometre (1,350/sq mi). Netherlands_sentence_562

It is the 64th most populous country in the world. Netherlands_sentence_563

Between 1900 and 1950, the country's population almost doubled from 5.1 to 10 million. Netherlands_sentence_564

From 1950 to 2000, the population further increased, to 15.9 million, though this represented a lower rate of population growth. Netherlands_sentence_565

The estimated growth rate in 2013 is 0.44%. Netherlands_sentence_566

The fertility rate in the Netherlands is 1.78 children per woman (2018 estimate), which is high compared with many other European countries, but below the rate of 2.1 children per woman required for natural population replacement, it remains considerably below the high of 5.39 children born per woman in 1879. Netherlands_sentence_567

Netherlands subsequently has one of the oldest populations in the world, with the average age of 42.7 years. Netherlands_sentence_568

Life expectancy is high in the Netherlands: 83.2 years for newborn girls and 78.9 for boys (2013 estimate). Netherlands_sentence_569

The country has a migration rate of 2.0 migrants per 1,000 inhabitants per year. Netherlands_sentence_570

The majority of the population of the Netherlands is ethnically Dutch. Netherlands_sentence_571

According to a 2005 estimate, the population was 80.9% Dutch, 2.4% Indonesian, 2.4% German, 2.2% Turkish, 2.0% Surinamese, 1.9% Moroccan, 0.8% Antillean and Aruban, and 7.4% others. Netherlands_sentence_572

Some 150,000 to 200,000 people living in the Netherlands are expatriates, mostly concentrated in and around Amsterdam and The Hague, now constituting almost 10% of the population of these cities. Netherlands_sentence_573

The Dutch are the tallest people in the world, by nationality, with an average height of 1.81 metres (5 ft 11.3 in) for adult males and 1.67 metres (5 ft 5.7 in) for adult females in 2009. Netherlands_sentence_574

People in the south are on average about 2 cm (0.8 inches) shorter than those in the north. Netherlands_sentence_575

According to Eurostat, in 2010 there were 1.8 million foreign-born residents in the Netherlands, corresponding to 11.1% of the total population. Netherlands_sentence_576

Of these, 1.4 million (8.5%) were born outside the EU and 0.43 million (2.6%) were born in another EU Member State. Netherlands_sentence_577

On 21 November 2016, there were 3.8 million residents in the Netherlands with at least one foreign-born parent ("migration background"). Netherlands_sentence_578

Over half the young people in Amsterdam and Rotterdam have a non-western background. Netherlands_sentence_579

Dutch people, or descendants of Dutch people, are also found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Canada, Australia, South Africa and the United States. Netherlands_sentence_580

According to the United States Census Bureau (2006), more than 5 million Americans claim total or partial Dutch ancestry. Netherlands_sentence_581

There are close to 3 million Dutch-descended Afrikaners living in South Africa. Netherlands_sentence_582

In 1940, there were 290,000 Europeans and Eurasians in Indonesia, but most have since left the country. Netherlands_sentence_583

The Netherlands is the 12th most densely populated country in the world with a density of 521 per square kilometre (1,350/sq mi). Netherlands_sentence_584

The Randstad is the country's largest conurbation located in the west of the country and contains the four largest cities: Amsterdam in the province North Holland, Rotterdam and The Hague in the province South Holland, and Utrecht in the province Utrecht. Netherlands_sentence_585

The Randstad has a population of about 8.2 million inhabitants and is the 5th largest metropolitan area in Europe. Netherlands_sentence_586

According to Dutch Central Statistics Bureau, in 2015, 28 percent of the Dutch population had a spendable income above 45,000 euros (which does not include spending on health care or education). Netherlands_sentence_587

Functional urban areas Netherlands_section_40


Functional urban areasNetherlands_header_cell_3_0_0 Population

(November 2019)Netherlands_header_cell_3_0_1

AmsterdamNetherlands_cell_3_1_0 2,500,000Netherlands_cell_3_1_1
RotterdamNetherlands_cell_3_2_0 1,500,000Netherlands_cell_3_2_1
The HagueNetherlands_cell_3_3_0 850,000Netherlands_cell_3_3_1
UtrechtNetherlands_cell_3_4_0 770,000Netherlands_cell_3_4_1
EindhovenNetherlands_cell_3_5_0 695,000Netherlands_cell_3_5_1
GroningenNetherlands_cell_3_6_0 482,000Netherlands_cell_3_6_1
EnschedeNetherlands_cell_3_7_0 402,000Netherlands_cell_3_7_1

Language Netherlands_section_41

Main article: Languages of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_588

The official language is Dutch, which is spoken by the vast majority of the inhabitants. Netherlands_sentence_589

Besides Dutch, West Frisian is recognised as a second official language in the northern province of Friesland (Fryslân in West Frisian). Netherlands_sentence_590

West Frisian has a formal status for government correspondence in that province. Netherlands_sentence_591

In the European part of the kingdom two other regional languages are recognised under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Netherlands_sentence_592

The first of these recognised regional languages is Low Saxon (Nedersaksisch in Dutch). Netherlands_sentence_593

Low Saxon consists of several dialects spoken in the north and east, like Tweants in the region of Twente, and Drents in the province of Drenthe. Netherlands_sentence_594

Secondly, Limburgish is also recognised as a regional language. Netherlands_sentence_595

It consists of Dutch varieties of Meuse-Rhenish Franconian languages and is spoken in the south-eastern province of Limburg. Netherlands_sentence_596

The dialects most spoken in the Netherlands are the Brabantian-Hollandic dialects. Netherlands_sentence_597

Ripuarian language, which is spoken in Kerkrade and Vaals in the form of, respectively, the Kerkrade dialect and the Vaals dialect is not recognised as a regional language of the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_598

These dialects are however sometimes considered to be a part of or related to Limburgish (see Southeast Limburgish dialect). Netherlands_sentence_599

English has a formal status in the special municipalities of Saba and Sint Eustatius. Netherlands_sentence_600

It is widely spoken on these islands. Netherlands_sentence_601

Papiamento has a formal status in the special municipality of Bonaire. Netherlands_sentence_602

Yiddish and the Romani language were recognised in 1996 as non-territorial languages. Netherlands_sentence_603

The Netherlands has a tradition of learning foreign languages, formalised in Dutch education laws. Netherlands_sentence_604

Some 90% of the total population indicate they are able to converse in English, 70% in German, and 29% in French. Netherlands_sentence_605

English is a mandatory course in all secondary schools. Netherlands_sentence_606

In most lower level secondary school educations (vmbo), one additional modern foreign language is mandatory during the first two years. Netherlands_sentence_607

In higher level secondary schools (HAVO and VWO), the acquisition of two additional modern foreign language skills is mandatory during the first three years. Netherlands_sentence_608

Only during the last three years in VWO one foreign language is mandatory. Netherlands_sentence_609

Besides English, the standard modern languages are French and German, although schools can replace one of these modern languages with Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Turkish or Arabic. Netherlands_sentence_610

Additionally, schools in Friesland teach and have exams in West Frisian, and schools across the country teach and have exams in Ancient Greek and Latin for secondary school (called Gymnasium or VWO+). Netherlands_sentence_611

Religion Netherlands_section_42

Main article: Religion in the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_612

The population of the Netherlands was predominantly Christian until the late 20th century, divided into a number of denominations. Netherlands_sentence_613

Although significant religious diversity remains, there has been a decline of religious adherence. Netherlands_sentence_614

The Netherlands is now one of the most secular societies in the world. Netherlands_sentence_615

In 2015, Statistics Netherlands found that 50.1% of the total population declared itself to be non-religious. Netherlands_sentence_616

Groups that represent the non-religious in the Netherlands include Humanistisch Verbond. Netherlands_sentence_617

Christians comprised 43.8% of the total population, divided between Roman Catholics (23.7% of the population), members of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (15.5%), and other Christians, including members of other Protestant churches (4.6%). Netherlands_sentence_618

Muslims comprised 4.9% of the total population and followers of other religions (like Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism) comprised the remaining 1.1%. Netherlands_sentence_619

The southern provinces of North Brabant and Limburg have historically been strongly Roman Catholic, and some residents consider the Catholic Church as a base for their cultural identity. Netherlands_sentence_620

Protestantism in the Netherlands consists of a number of churches within various traditions. Netherlands_sentence_621

The largest of these is the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN), a United church which is Reformed and Lutheran in orientation. Netherlands_sentence_622

It was formed in 2004 as a merger of the Dutch Reformed Church, the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and a smaller Lutheran Church. Netherlands_sentence_623

Several orthodox Reformed and liberal churches did not merge into the PKN. Netherlands_sentence_624

Although in the Netherlands as a whole Christianity has become a minority, the Netherlands contains a Bible Belt from Zeeland to the northern parts of the province Overijssel, in which Protestant (particularly Reformed) beliefs remain strong, and even has majorities in municipal councils. Netherlands_sentence_625

Islam is the second largest religion in the state. Netherlands_sentence_626

In 2012, there were about 825,000 Muslims in the Netherlands (5% of the population). Netherlands_sentence_627

The Muslim population increased from the 1960 as a result of large numbers of migrant workers. Netherlands_sentence_628

This included migrant workers from Turkey and Morocco, as well as migrants from former Dutch colonies, such as Surinam and Indonesia. Netherlands_sentence_629

During the 1990s, Muslim refugees arrived from countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, and Afghanistan. Netherlands_sentence_630

Another religion practiced is Hinduism, with around 215,000 adherents (slightly over 1% of the population). Netherlands_sentence_631

Most of these are Indo-Surinamese. Netherlands_sentence_632

There are also sizable populations of Hindu immigrants from India and Sri Lanka, and some Western adherents of Hinduism-oriented new religious movements such as Hare Krishnas. Netherlands_sentence_633

The Netherlands has an estimated 250,000 Buddhists or people strongly attracted to this religion, mainly ethnic Dutch people. Netherlands_sentence_634

In addition, there are about 45,000 Jews in the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_635

The Constitution of the Netherlands guarantees freedom of education, which means that all schools that adhere to general quality criteria receive the same government funding. Netherlands_sentence_636

This includes schools based on religious principles by religious groups (especially Roman Catholic and various Protestant). Netherlands_sentence_637

Three political parties in the Dutch parliament, (CDA, and two small parties, ChristianUnion and SGP) are based upon the Christian belief. Netherlands_sentence_638

Several Christian religious holidays are national holidays (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and the Ascension of Jesus). Netherlands_sentence_639

Upon the country's independence, Protestants were predominant in most of the country, while Roman Catholics were dominant in the south, especially North Brabant and Limburg. Netherlands_sentence_640

In the late 19th century secularism, liberalism and socialism and atheism gained adherents. Netherlands_sentence_641

By 1960, Roman Catholics now equalled Protestants in number; thereafter, both Christian branches began to decline. Netherlands_sentence_642

Conversely, Islam grew considerably as the result of immigration. Netherlands_sentence_643

Since the year 2000 there has been raised awareness of religion, mainly due to Muslim extremism. Netherlands_sentence_644

The Dutch royal family has been traditionally associated with Calvinism, specifically the Dutch Reformed Church, which has merged into the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_645

The Dutch Reformed Church was the only major Protestant church in the Netherlands from the Reformation until the 19th century. Netherlands_sentence_646

Denominational splits in 1834 and in 1886 diversified Dutch Calvinism. Netherlands_sentence_647

In 2013, a Roman Catholic became Queen consort. Netherlands_sentence_648

From a December 2014 survey by the VU University Amsterdam it was concluded that for the first time there are more atheists (25%) than theists (17%) in the Netherlands, while the remainder of the population was agnostic (31%) or ietsistic (27%). Netherlands_sentence_649

In 2015, a vast majority of the inhabitants of the Netherlands (82%) said they had never or almost never visited a church, and 59% stated that they had never been to a church of any kind. Netherlands_sentence_650

Of all the people questioned, 24% saw themselves as atheist, an increase of 11% compared to the previous study done in 2006. Netherlands_sentence_651

The expected rise of spirituality (ietsism) has come to a halt according to research in 2015. Netherlands_sentence_652

In 2006, 40% of respondents considered themselves spiritual, in 2015 this has dropped to 31%. Netherlands_sentence_653

The number who believed in the existence of a higher power fell from 36% to 28% over the same period. Netherlands_sentence_654

Education Netherlands_section_43

Main articles: Education in the Netherlands and Universities in the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_655

Education in the Netherlands is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16. Netherlands_sentence_656

If a child does not have a "starting qualification" (HAVO, VWO or MBO 2+ degree) they are still forced to attend classes until they achieve such a qualification. Netherlands_sentence_657

All children in the Netherlands usually attend elementary school from (on average) ages 4 to 12. Netherlands_sentence_658

It comprises eight grades, the first of which is facultative. Netherlands_sentence_659

Based on an aptitude test, the eighth grade teacher's recommendation and the opinion of the pupil's parents or caretakers, a choice is made for one of the three main streams of secondary education. Netherlands_sentence_660

After completing a particular stream, a pupil may still continue in the penultimate year of the next stream. Netherlands_sentence_661

The VMBO has 4 grades and is subdivided over several levels. Netherlands_sentence_662

Successfully completing the vmbo results in a low-level vocational degree that grants access to the MBO. Netherlands_sentence_663

The MBO (middle-level applied education) is a form of education primarily focuses on teaching a practical trade, or a vocational degree. Netherlands_sentence_664

With the MBO certification, a student can apply for the HBO. Netherlands_sentence_665

The HAVO has 5 grades and allows for admission to the HBO. Netherlands_sentence_666

The HBO (higher professional education) are universities of professional education (applied sciences) that award professional bachelor's degrees; similar to polytechnic degrees. Netherlands_sentence_667

A HBO degree gives access to the university system. Netherlands_sentence_668

The VWO (comprising atheneum and gymnasium) has 6 grades and prepares for studying at a research university. Netherlands_sentence_669

Universities offer of a three-year bachelor's degree, followed by a one or two year master's degree, which in turn can be followed by a four or five-year doctoral degree program. Netherlands_sentence_670

Doctoral candidates in the Netherlands are generally non-tenured employees of a university. Netherlands_sentence_671

All Dutch schools and universities are publicly funded and managed with the exception of religious schools that are publicly funded but not managed by the state even though requirements are necessary for the funding to be authorised. Netherlands_sentence_672

Dutch universities have a tuition fee of about 2,000 euros a year for students from the Netherlands and the European Union. Netherlands_sentence_673

The amount is about 10,000 euros for non-EU students. Netherlands_sentence_674

Healthcare Netherlands_section_44

Main article: Healthcare in the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_675

In 2016, the Netherlands maintained its number one position at the top of the annual Euro health consumer index (EHCI), which compares healthcare systems in Europe, scoring 916 of a maximum 1,000 points. Netherlands_sentence_676

The Netherlands has been among the top three countries in each report published since 2005. Netherlands_sentence_677

On 48 indicators such as patient rights and information, accessibility, prevention and outcomes, the Netherlands secured its top position among 37 European countries for six years in a row. Netherlands_sentence_678

The Netherlands was ranked first in a study in 2009 comparing the health care systems of the United States, Australia, Canada, Germany and New Zealand. Netherlands_sentence_679

Ever since a major reform of the health care system in 2006, the Dutch system received more points in the Index each year. Netherlands_sentence_680

According to the HCP (Health Consumer Powerhouse), the Netherlands has 'a chaos system', meaning patients have a great degree of freedom from where to buy their health insurance, to where they get their healthcare service. Netherlands_sentence_681

The difference between the Netherlands and other countries is that the chaos is managed. Netherlands_sentence_682

Healthcare decisions are being made in a dialogue between the patients and healthcare professionals. Netherlands_sentence_683

Health insurance in the Netherlands is mandatory. Netherlands_sentence_684

Healthcare in the Netherlands is covered by two statutory forms of insurance: Netherlands_sentence_685


  • Zorgverzekeringswet (ZVW), often called "basic insurance", covers common medical care.Netherlands_item_2_6
  • Algemene Wet Bijzondere Ziektekosten (AWBZ) covers long-term nursing and care.Netherlands_item_2_7

While Dutch residents are automatically insured by the government for AWBZ, everyone has to take out their own basic healthcare insurance (basisverzekering), except those under 18 who are automatically covered under their parents' premium. Netherlands_sentence_686

If a person decides not to carry out an insurance coverage, the person may be fined. Netherlands_sentence_687

Insurers have to offer a universal package for everyone over the age of 18 years, regardless of age or state of health – it's illegal to refuse an application or impose special conditions. Netherlands_sentence_688

In contrast to many other European systems, the Dutch government is responsible for the accessibility and quality of the healthcare system in the Netherlands, but not in charge of its management. Netherlands_sentence_689

Healthcare in the Netherlands can be divided in several ways: three echelons, in somatic and mental health care and in 'cure' (short term) and 'care' (long term). Netherlands_sentence_690

Home doctors (huisartsen, comparable to general practitioners) form the largest part of the first echelon. Netherlands_sentence_691

Being referenced by a member of the first echelon is mandatory for access to the second and third echelon. Netherlands_sentence_692

The health care system is in comparison to other Western countries quite effective but not the most cost-effective. Netherlands_sentence_693

Healthcare in the Netherlands is financed by a dual system that came into effect in January 2006. Netherlands_sentence_694

Long-term treatments, especially those that involve semi-permanent hospitalisation, and also disability costs such as wheelchairs, are covered by a state-controlled mandatory insurance. Netherlands_sentence_695

This is laid down in the Algemene Wet Bijzondere Ziektekosten ("General Law on Exceptional Healthcare Costs") which first came into effect in 1968. Netherlands_sentence_696

In 2009 this insurance covered 27% of all health care expenses. Netherlands_sentence_697

For all regular (short-term) medical treatment, there is a system of obligatory health insurance, with private health insurance companies. Netherlands_sentence_698

These insurance companies are obliged to provide a package with a defined set of insured treatments. Netherlands_sentence_699

This insurance covers 41% of all health care expenses. Netherlands_sentence_700

Other sources of health care payment are taxes (14%), out of pocket payments (9%), additional optional health insurance packages (4%) and a range of other sources (4%). Netherlands_sentence_701

Affordability is guaranteed through a system of income-related allowances and individual and employer-paid income-related premiums. Netherlands_sentence_702

A key feature of the Dutch system is that premiums may not be related to health status or age. Netherlands_sentence_703

Risk variances between private health insurance companies due to the different risks presented by individual policy holders are compensated through risk equalisation and a common risk pool. Netherlands_sentence_704

The funding burden for all short-term health care coverage is carried 50% by employers, 45% by the insured person and 5% by the government. Netherlands_sentence_705

Children under 18 are covered for free. Netherlands_sentence_706

Those on low incomes receive compensation to help them pay their insurance. Netherlands_sentence_707

Premiums paid by the insured are about €100 per month (about US$127 in August 2010 and €150 or US$196 in 2012), with variation of about 5% between the various competing insurers, and a yearly deductible of €220 (US$288). Netherlands_sentence_708

Culture Netherlands_section_45

Main article: Culture of the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_709

Art, architecture and philosophy Netherlands_section_46

Main articles: Dutch art, Architecture of the Netherlands, and Dutch literature Netherlands_sentence_710

The Netherlands has had many well-known painters. Netherlands_sentence_711

In the Middle Ages Hieronymus Bosch, Petrus Christus and Pieter Bruegel the Elder were leading Dutch pioneers. Netherlands_sentence_712

During the Dutch Golden Age, spanning much of the 17th century, the Dutch Republic was prosperous and witnessed a flourishing artistic movement. Netherlands_sentence_713

This was the age of the "Dutch Masters", such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Jacob van Ruisdael, Gerard van Honthorst, Theodoor van Thulden and many others. Netherlands_sentence_714

Famous Dutch painters of the 19th and 20th century were Vincent van Gogh and the luminists Jan Sluijters, Leo Gestel, and Piet Mondriaan. Netherlands_sentence_715

M. Netherlands_sentence_716 C. Escher is a well-known graphics artist. Netherlands_sentence_717

Willem de Kooning was born and trained in Rotterdam, although he is considered to have reached acclaim as an American artist. Netherlands_sentence_718

Literature flourished as well during the Dutch Golden Age, with Joost van den Vondel and P. Netherlands_sentence_719 C. Hooft as the two most famous writers. Netherlands_sentence_720

In the 19th century, Multatuli wrote about the poor treatment of the natives in the Dutch colony, the current Indonesia. Netherlands_sentence_721

Important 20th century authors include Godfried Bomans, Harry Mulisch, Jan Wolkers, Simon Vestdijk, Hella S. Haasse, Cees Nooteboom, Gerard Reve and Willem Frederik Hermans. Netherlands_sentence_722

Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl was published after she was murdered in the Holocaust and translated from Dutch to all major languages. Netherlands_sentence_723

Traditional Dutch architecture is especially in evidence in Amsterdam, Delft and Leiden, where numerous buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries can be observed along the canals. Netherlands_sentence_724

Smaller village architecture with wooden houses is found in Zaandam and Marken. Netherlands_sentence_725

Replicas of Dutch buildings can be found in Huis Ten Bosch, Nagasaki, Japan. Netherlands_sentence_726

A similar Holland Village is being built in Shenyang, China. Netherlands_sentence_727

Windmills, tulips, wooden shoes, cheese, Delftware pottery, and cannabis are among the items associated with the Netherlands by tourists. Netherlands_sentence_728

The Netherlands is the country of philosophers Erasmus and Spinoza. Netherlands_sentence_729

Much of Descartes' major work was done in the Netherlands, where he studied at Leiden University — as did geologist James Hutton, British Prime Minister John Stuart, U.S. President John Quincy Adams, Physics Nobel Prize laureate Hendrik Lorentz and Enrico Fermi. Netherlands_sentence_730

The Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens (1629–1695) discovered Saturn's moon Titan, argued that light travelled as waves, invented the pendulum clock and was the first physicist to use mathematical formulae. Netherlands_sentence_731

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was the first to observe and describe single-celled organisms with a microscope. Netherlands_sentence_732

Dutch value system Netherlands_section_47

Main article: Dutch customs and etiquette Netherlands_sentence_733

Dutch society is egalitarian and modern. Netherlands_sentence_734

The Dutch have an aversion to the non-essential. Netherlands_sentence_735

Ostentatious behaviour is to be avoided. Netherlands_sentence_736

The Dutch are proud of their cultural heritage, rich history in art and involvement in international affairs. Netherlands_sentence_737

Dutch manners are open and direct with a no-nonsense attitude; informality combined with adherence to basic behaviour. Netherlands_sentence_738

According to a humorous source on Dutch culture, "Their directness gives many the impression that they are rude and crude — attributes they prefer to call openness." Netherlands_sentence_739

A well known more serious source on Dutch etiquette is "Dealing with the Dutch" by Jacob Vossestein: "Dutch egalitarianism is the idea that people are equal, especially from a moral point of view, and accordingly, causes the somewhat ambiguous stance the Dutch have towards hierarchy and status." Netherlands_sentence_740

As always, manners differ between groups. Netherlands_sentence_741

Asking about basic rules will not be considered impolite. Netherlands_sentence_742

"What may strike you as being blatantly blunt topics and comments are no more embarrassing or unusual to the Dutch than discussing the weather." Netherlands_sentence_743

The Netherlands is one of the most secular countries of Europe, and religion is in the Netherlands generally considered as a personal matter which is not supposed to be propagated in public, although it often remains a discussion subject. Netherlands_sentence_744

For only 17% of the population religion is important and 14% goes to church weekly. Netherlands_sentence_745

The Netherlands has a long history of social tolerance and today is regarded as a liberal country, considering its drug policy and its legalisation of euthanasia. Netherlands_sentence_746

On 1 April 2001, the Netherlands became the first nation to legalise same-sex marriage. Netherlands_sentence_747

Dutch people and ecology Netherlands_section_48

As of 2018 the Netherlands had one of the highest rates of carbon dioxide emissions per capita in the European Union, above those of Germany, France and Belgium. Netherlands_sentence_748

The Netherlands has nonetheless the reputation of the leader country in environmental and population management. Netherlands_sentence_749

In 2015, Amsterdam and Rotterdam were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, on the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Index. Netherlands_sentence_750

Sustainability is a concept important for the Dutch. Netherlands_sentence_751

The goal of the Dutch Government is to have a sustainable, reliable and affordable energy system, by 2050, in which CO 2 emissions have been halved and 40 percent of electricity is derived from sustainable sources. Netherlands_sentence_752

The government is investing billions of euros in energy efficiency, sustainable energy and CO 2 reduction. Netherlands_sentence_753

The Kingdom also encourages Dutch companies to build sustainable business/projects/facilities, with financial aids from the state to the companies or individuals who are active in making the country more sustainable. Netherlands_sentence_754

Music Netherlands_section_49

Main articles: Music of the Netherlands and Music of the former Netherlands Antilles Netherlands_sentence_755

The Netherlands has multiple music traditions. Netherlands_sentence_756

Traditional Dutch music is a genre known as "Levenslied", meaning Song of life, to an extent comparable to a French Chanson or a German Schlager. Netherlands_sentence_757

These songs typically have a simple melody and rhythm, and a straightforward structure of verses and choruses. Netherlands_sentence_758

Themes can be light, but are often sentimental and include love, death and loneliness. Netherlands_sentence_759

Traditional musical instruments such as the accordion and the barrel organ are a staple of levenslied music, though in recent years many artists also use synthesisers and guitars. Netherlands_sentence_760

Artists in this genre include Jan Smit, Frans Bauer and André Hazes. Netherlands_sentence_761

Contemporary Dutch rock and pop music (Nederpop) originated in the 1960s, heavily influenced by popular music from the United States and Britain. Netherlands_sentence_762

In the 1960s and 1970s the lyrics were mostly in English, and some tracks were instrumental. Netherlands_sentence_763

Bands such as Shocking Blue, Golden Earring, Tee Set, George Baker Selection and Focus enjoyed international success. Netherlands_sentence_764

As of the 1980s, more and more pop musicians started working in the Dutch language, partly inspired by the huge success of the band Doe Maar. Netherlands_sentence_765

Today Dutch rock and pop music thrives in both languages, with some artists recording in both. Netherlands_sentence_766

Current symphonic metal bands Epica, Delain, ReVamp, The Gathering, Asrai, Autumn, Ayreon and Within Temptation as well as jazz and pop singer Caro Emerald are having international success. Netherlands_sentence_767

Also, metal bands like Hail of Bullets, God Dethroned, Izegrim, Asphyx, Textures, Present Danger, Heidevolk and Slechtvalk are popular guests at the biggest metal festivals in Europe. Netherlands_sentence_768

Contemporary local stars include pop singer Anouk, country pop singer Ilse DeLange, South Guelderish and Limburgish dialect singing folk band Rowwen Hèze, rock band BLØF and duo Nick & Simon. Netherlands_sentence_769

Trijntje Oosterhuis, one of the country's most well known and versatile singers, has made multiple albums with famous American composers Vince Mendoza and Burt Bacharach. Netherlands_sentence_770

Early 1990s Dutch and Belgian house music came together in Eurodance project 2 Unlimited. Netherlands_sentence_771

Selling 18 million records, the two singers in the band are the most successful Dutch music artists to this day. Netherlands_sentence_772

Tracks like "Get Ready for This" are still popular themes of U.S. sports events, like the NHL. Netherlands_sentence_773

In the mid 1990s Dutch language rap and hip hop (Nederhop) also came to fruition and has become popular in the Netherlands and Belgium. Netherlands_sentence_774

Artists with North African, Caribbean or Middle Eastern origins have strongly influenced this genre. Netherlands_sentence_775

Since the 1990s, Dutch electronic dance music (EDM) gained widespread popularity in the world in many forms, from trance, techno and gabber to hardstyle. Netherlands_sentence_776

Some of the world's best known dance music DJs hail from the Netherlands, including Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Dash Berlin, Julian Jordan, Nicky Romero, W&W, Don Diablo and Afrojack; the first four of which have been ranked as best in the world by DJ Mag Top 100 DJs. Netherlands_sentence_777

The Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) is the world's leading electronic music conference and the biggest club festival for the many electronic subgenres on the planet. Netherlands_sentence_778

These DJs also contribute to the world's mainstream pop music, as they frequently collaborate and produce for high-profile international artists. Netherlands_sentence_779

The Netherlands have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since its first edition in 1956, and have won five times. Netherlands_sentence_780

Their most recent win was in 2019. Netherlands_sentence_781

In classical music, Jan Sweelinck ranks as the Dutch most famous composer, with Louis Andriessen amongst the best known living Dutch classical composers. Netherlands_sentence_782

Ton Koopman is a Dutch conductor, organist and harpsichordist. Netherlands_sentence_783

He is also professor at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. Netherlands_sentence_784

Notable violinists are Janine Jansen and André Rieu. Netherlands_sentence_785

The latter, together with his Johann Strauss Orchestra, has taken classical and waltz music on worldwide concert tours, the size and revenue of which are otherwise only seen from the world's biggest rock and pop music acts. Netherlands_sentence_786

The most famous Dutch classical composition is "Canto Ostinato" by Simeon ten Holt, a minimalistic composition for multiple instruments. Netherlands_sentence_787

Acclaimed harpist Lavinia Meijer in 2012 released an album with works from Philip Glass that she transcribed for harp, with approval of Glass himself. Netherlands_sentence_788

The Concertgebouw (completed in 1888) in Amsterdam is home to the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, considered one of the world's finest orchestras. Netherlands_sentence_789

Film and television Netherlands_section_50

Main articles: Cinema of the Netherlands and Television in the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_790

Some Dutch films – mainly by director Paul Verhoeven – have received international distribution and recognition, such as Turkish Delight ("Turks Fruit", 1973), Soldier of Orange ("Soldaat van Oranje", 1977), Spetters (1980) and The Fourth Man ("De Vierde Man", 1983). Netherlands_sentence_791

Verhoeven then went on to direct big Hollywood movies like RoboCop (1987), Total Recall (1990) and Basic Instinct (1992), and returned with Dutch film Black Book ("Zwartboek", 2006). Netherlands_sentence_792

Other well-known Dutch film directors are Jan de Bont (Speed), Anton Corbijn (A Most wanted Man), Dick Maas (De Lift), Fons Rademakers (The Assault), and documentary makers Bert Haanstra and Joris Ivens. Netherlands_sentence_793

Film director Theo van Gogh achieved international notoriety in 2004 when he was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri in the streets of Amsterdam after directing the short film Submission. Netherlands_sentence_794

Internationally, successful directors of photography from the Netherlands are Hoyte van Hoytema (Interstellar, Spectre, Dunkirk) and Theo van de Sande (Wayne's World and Blade). Netherlands_sentence_795

Van Hoytema went to the National Film School in Łódź (Poland) and Van de Sande went to the Netherlands Film Academy. Netherlands_sentence_796

Internationally successful Dutch actors include Famke Janssen (X-Men), Carice van Houten (Game of Thrones), Michiel Huisman (Game of Thrones), Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner), Jeroen Krabbé (The Living Daylights) and Derek de Lint (Three Men and a Baby). Netherlands_sentence_797

The Netherlands has a well developed television market, with both multiple commercial and public broadcasters. Netherlands_sentence_798

Imported TV programmes, as well as interviews with responses in a foreign language, are virtually always shown with the original sound and subtitled. Netherlands_sentence_799

Only foreign shows for children are dubbed. Netherlands_sentence_800

TV exports from the Netherlands mostly take the form of specific formats and franchises, most notably through internationally active TV production conglomerate Endemol, founded by Dutch media tycoons John de Mol and Joop van den Ende. Netherlands_sentence_801

Headquartered in Amsterdam, Endemol has around 90 companies in over 30 countries. Netherlands_sentence_802

Endemol and its subsidiaries create and run reality, talent, and game show franchises worldwide, including Big Brother and Deal or No Deal. Netherlands_sentence_803

John de Mol later started his own company Talpa which created show franchises like The Voice and Utopia. Netherlands_sentence_804

Sports Netherlands_section_51

Main article: Sports in the Netherlands Netherlands_sentence_805

Approximately 4.5 million of the 16.8 million people in the Netherlands are registered to one of the 35,000 sports clubs in the country. Netherlands_sentence_806

About two-thirds of the population between 15 and 75 participates in sports weekly. Netherlands_sentence_807

Football is the most popular participant sport in the Netherlands, before field hockey and volleyball as the second and third most popular team sports. Netherlands_sentence_808

The Netherlands national football team is one of the most popular aspects of Dutch sports; especially since the 1970s when one of the greatest footballers of all time, Johan Cruyff, developed Total Football with coach Rinus Michels. Netherlands_sentence_809

Tennis, gymnastics and golf are the three most widely engaged in individual sports. Netherlands_sentence_810

Organisation of sports began at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Netherlands_sentence_811

Federations for sports were established (such as the speed skating federation in 1882), rules were unified and sports clubs came into existence. Netherlands_sentence_812

A Dutch National Olympic Committee was established in 1912. Netherlands_sentence_813

Thus far, the nation has won 266 medals at the Summer Olympic Games and another 110 medals at the Winter Olympic Games. Netherlands_sentence_814

In international competition, Dutch national teams and athletes are dominant in several fields of sport. Netherlands_sentence_815

The Netherlands women's field hockey team is the most successful team in World Cup history. Netherlands_sentence_816

The Netherlands baseball team have won the European championship 20 times out of 32 events. Netherlands_sentence_817

Dutch K-1 kickboxers have won the K-1 World Grand Prix 15 times out of 19 tournaments. Netherlands_sentence_818

The Netherlands Women's handball team holds the record of the only team in the world that consecutively reached all six semifinals of major international tournaments since 2015, winning silver and bronze at the European Women's Handball Championship and silver, bronze and gold at the World Women's Handball Championship. Netherlands_sentence_819

They finished fourth at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Netherlands_sentence_820

The Dutch speed skaters' performance at the 2014 Winter Olympics, where they won 8 out of 12 events, 23 out of 36 medals, including 4 clean sweeps, is the most dominant performance in a single sport in Olympic history. Netherlands_sentence_821

Motorcycle racing at the TT Circuit Assen has a long history. Netherlands_sentence_822

Assen is the only venue to have held a round of the Motorcycle World Championship every year since its creation in 1949. Netherlands_sentence_823

The circuit was purpose-built for the Dutch TT in 1954, with previous events having been held on public roads. Netherlands_sentence_824

The Dutch have also had success in all three of cyclings Grand Tours with Jan Janssen winning the 1968 Tour de France, more recently with Tom Dumoulin winning the 2017 Giro d'Italia and legendary rider Joop Zoetemelk was the 1985 UCI World Champion, the winner of the 1979 Vuelta a Espana, the 1980 Tour de France and still holds or shares numerous Tour de France records including most Tours finished and most kilometers ridden. Netherlands_sentence_825

Limburger Max Verstappen currently races in Formula One, and was the first Dutchman to win a Grand Prix. Netherlands_sentence_826

The coastal resort of Zandvoort hosted the Dutch Grand Prix from 1958 to 1985, and has been announced to return in 2020. Netherlands_sentence_827

The volleyball national men's team has also been successful, winning the silver medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics and the gold medal four years later in Atlanta. Netherlands_sentence_828

The biggest success of the women's national team was winning the European Championship in 1995 and the World Grand Prix in 2007. Netherlands_sentence_829

Recently cricket has made a remarkable progress in the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_830

Netherlands have participated in 1996, 2003, 2007 and 2011 ODI cricket World Cup. Netherlands_sentence_831

They have also qualified for 2009 and 2014 T20 World Cup. Netherlands_sentence_832

In the 2009 T20 World Cup, Netherlands defeated England, the current World Champions and inventor of the game. Netherlands_sentence_833

Ryan ten Doeschate is the only Dutch player to have played in the IPL on the team Kolkata Knight Riders. Netherlands_sentence_834

Cuisine Netherlands_section_52

Main article: Dutch cuisine Netherlands_sentence_835

Originally, the country's cuisine was shaped by the practices of fishing and farming, including the cultivation of the soil for growing crops and raising domesticated animals. Netherlands_sentence_836

Dutch cuisine is simple and straightforward, and contains many dairy products. Netherlands_sentence_837

Breakfast and lunch are typically bread with toppings, with cereal for breakfast as an alternative. Netherlands_sentence_838

Traditionally, dinner consists of potatoes, a portion of meat, and (seasonal) vegetables. Netherlands_sentence_839

The Dutch diet was relatively high in carbohydrates and fat, reflecting the dietary needs of the labourers whose culture moulded the country. Netherlands_sentence_840

Without many refinements, it is best described as rustic, though many holidays are still celebrated with special foods. Netherlands_sentence_841

In the course of the twentieth century this diet changed and became much more cosmopolitan, with most global cuisines being represented in the major cities. Netherlands_sentence_842

Modern culinary writers distinguish between three general regional forms of Dutch cuisine. Netherlands_sentence_843

The regions in the northeast of the Netherlands, roughly the provinces of Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe, Overijssel and Gelderland north of the great rivers are the least populated areas of the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_844

The late (18th century) introduction of large scale agriculture means that the cuisine is generally known for its many kinds of meats. Netherlands_sentence_845

The relative lack of farms allowed for an abundance of game and husbandry, though dishes near the coastal regions of Friesland, Groningen and the parts of Overijssel bordering the IJsselmeer also include a large amount of fish. Netherlands_sentence_846

The various dried sausages, belonging to the metworst-family of Dutch sausages are found throughout this region and are highly prized for their often very strong taste. Netherlands_sentence_847

Also smoked sausages are common, of which (Gelderse) rookworst is the most renowned. Netherlands_sentence_848

The sausage contains a lot of fat and is very juicy. Netherlands_sentence_849

Larger sausages are often eaten alongside stamppot, hutspot or zuurkool (sauerkraut); whereas smaller ones are often eaten as a street food. Netherlands_sentence_850

The provinces are also home to hard textured rye bread, pastries and cookies, the latter heavily spiced with ginger or succade or containing small bits of meat. Netherlands_sentence_851

Various kinds of Kruidkoek (such as ), and (small savory pancakes cooked in a waffle iron) are considered typical. Netherlands_sentence_852

A notable characteristic of Fries roggebrood (Frisian rye bread) is its long baking time (up to 20 hours), resulting in a sweet taste and a deep dark colour. Netherlands_sentence_853

In terms of alcoholic beverages, the region is renowned for its many bitters (such as Beerenburg) and other high-proof liquors rather than beer, which is, apart from Jenever, typical for the rest of the country. Netherlands_sentence_854

As a coastal region, Friesland is home to low-lying grasslands, and thus has a cheese production in common with the Western cuisine. Netherlands_sentence_855

Friese Nagelkaas (Friesian Clove) is a notable example. Netherlands_sentence_856

The provinces of North Holland, South Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht and the Gelderlandic area of Betuwe make up the region in which western Dutch cuisine is found. Netherlands_sentence_857

Because of the abundance of water and flat grasslands that are found here, the area is known for its many dairy products, which include prominent cheeses such as Gouda, Leyden (spiced cheese with cumin), and Edam (traditionally in small spheres) as well as Leerdammer and Beemster, while the adjacent Zaanstreek in North Holland has since the 16th century been known for its mayonnaise, typical whole-grain mustards, and chocolate industry. Netherlands_sentence_858

Zeeland and South Holland produce a lot of butter, which contains a larger amount of milkfat than most other European butter varieties. Netherlands_sentence_859

A by-product of the butter-making process, karnemelk (buttermilk), is also considered typical for this region. Netherlands_sentence_860

Seafood such as soused herring, mussels (called Zeeuwse Mossels, since all Dutch mussels for consumption are cleaned in Zeeland's Oosterschelde), eels, oysters and shrimps are widely available and typical for the region. Netherlands_sentence_861

, once a local delicacy consisting of small chunks of battered white fish, has become a national fast food, just as . Netherlands_sentence_862

Pastries in this area tend to be quite doughy, and often contain large amounts of sugar; either caramelised, powdered or crystallised. Netherlands_sentence_863

The oliebol (in its modern form) and Zeeuwse bolus are good examples. Netherlands_sentence_864

Cookies are also produced in great number and tend to contain a lot of butter and sugar, like stroopwafel, as well as a filling of some kind, mostly almond, like . Netherlands_sentence_865

The traditional alcoholic beverages of this region are beer (strong pale lager) and Jenever, a high proof juniper-flavored spirit, that came to be known in England as gin. Netherlands_sentence_866

A noted exception within the traditional Dutch alcoholic landscape, Advocaat, a rich and creamy liqueur made from eggs, sugar and brandy, is also native to this region. Netherlands_sentence_867

The Southern Dutch cuisine consists of the cuisines of the Dutch provinces of North Brabant and Limburg and the Flemish Region in Belgium. Netherlands_sentence_868

It is renowned for its many rich pastries, soups, stews and vegetable dishes and is often called Burgundian which is a Dutch idiom invoking the rich Burgundian court which ruled the Low Countries in the Middle Ages, renowned for its splendor and great feasts. Netherlands_sentence_869

It is the only Dutch culinary region that developed an haute cuisine. Netherlands_sentence_870

Pastries are abundant, often with rich fillings of cream, custard or fruits. Netherlands_sentence_871

Cakes, such as the Vlaai from Limburg and the Moorkop and Bossche Bol from Brabant, are typical pastries. Netherlands_sentence_872

Savoury pastries also occur, with the worstenbroodje (a roll with a sausage of ground beef, literally translates into sausage bread) being the most popular. Netherlands_sentence_873

The traditional alcoholic beverage of the region is beer. Netherlands_sentence_874

There are many local brands, ranging from Trappist to Kriek. Netherlands_sentence_875

5 of the 10 International Trappist Association recognised breweries in the world, are located in the Southern Dutch cultural area. Netherlands_sentence_876

Beer, like wine in French cuisine, is also used in cooking; often in stews. Netherlands_sentence_877

In early 2014, Oxfam ranked the Netherlands as the country with the most nutritious, plentiful and healthy food, in a comparison of 125 countries. Netherlands_sentence_878

Colonial heritage Netherlands_section_53

Main article: Dutch Empire Netherlands_sentence_879

Further information: Dutch East Indies and Indos in the Dutch East Indies Netherlands_sentence_880

From the exploitations in the Mughal Empire in the 17th century, to the colonisations in the 19th century, Dutch imperial possessions continued to expand, reaching their greatest extent by establishing a hegemony of the Dutch East Indies in the early 20th century. Netherlands_sentence_881

The Dutch East Indies, which later formed modern-day Indonesia, was one of the most valuable European colonies in the world and the most important one for the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_882

Over 350 years of mutual heritage has left a significant cultural mark on the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_883

In the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, the Netherlands urbanised considerably, mostly financed by corporate revenue from the Asian trade monopolies. Netherlands_sentence_884

Social status was based on merchants' income, which reduced feudalism and considerably changed the dynamics of Dutch society. Netherlands_sentence_885

When the Dutch royal family was established in 1815, much of its wealth came from Colonial trade. Netherlands_sentence_886

By the 17th century, the Dutch East India Company established their base in parts of Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka). Netherlands_sentence_887

Afterward, they established ports in Dutch occupied Malabar, leading to Dutch settlements and trading posts in India. Netherlands_sentence_888

However, their expansion into India was halted, after their defeat in the Battle of Colachel by the Kingdom of Travancore, during the Travancore-Dutch War. Netherlands_sentence_889

The Dutch never recovered from the defeat and no longer posed a large colonial threat to Bengal Subah. Netherlands_sentence_890

Universities such as the Leiden University, founded in the 16th century, have developed into leading knowledge centres for Southeast Asian and Indonesian studies. Netherlands_sentence_891

Leiden University has produced leading academics such as Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, and still has academics who specialise in Indonesian languages and cultures. Netherlands_sentence_892

Leiden University and in particular KITLV are educational and scientific institutions that to this day share both an intellectual and historical interest in Indonesian studies. Netherlands_sentence_893

Other scientific institutions in the Netherlands include the Amsterdam Tropenmuseum, an anthropological museum with massive collections of Indonesian art, culture, ethnography and anthropology. Netherlands_sentence_894

The traditions of the Royal Dutch East Indies Army (KNIL) are maintained by the Regiment Van Heutsz of the modern Royal Netherlands Army. Netherlands_sentence_895

A dedicated Bronbeek Museum, a former home for retired KNIL soldiers, exists in Arnhem to this day. Netherlands_sentence_896

A specific segment of Dutch literature called Dutch Indies literature still exists and includes established authors, such as Louis Couperus, the writer of "The Hidden Force", taking the colonial era as an important source of inspiration. Netherlands_sentence_897

One of the great masterpieces of Dutch literature is the book "Max Havelaar", written by Multatuli in 1860. Netherlands_sentence_898

The majority of Dutchmen that repatriated to the Netherlands after and during the Indonesian revolution are Indo (Eurasian), native to the islands of the Dutch East Indies. Netherlands_sentence_899

This relatively large Eurasian population had developed over a period of 400 years and were classified by colonial law as belonging to the European legal community. Netherlands_sentence_900

In Dutch they are referred to as Indische Nederlanders or as Indo (short for Indo-European). Netherlands_sentence_901

Including their second generation descendants, Indos are currently the largest foreign-born group in the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_902

In 2008, the Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) registered 387,000 first- and second-generation Indos living in the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_903

Although considered fully assimilated into Dutch society, as the main ethnic minority in the Netherlands, these 'repatriants' have played a pivotal role in introducing elements of Indonesian culture into Dutch mainstream culture. Netherlands_sentence_904

Many Indonesian dishes and foodstuffs have become commonplace in the Netherlands. Netherlands_sentence_905

Rijsttafel, a colonial culinary concept, and dishes such as Nasi goreng and satay are very popular in the country. Netherlands_sentence_906

Practically any town of any size in the Netherlands has a "toko" (a Dutch Indonesian Shop) or a Chinese-Indonesian restaurant, and many 'Pasar Malam' (Night market in Malay/Indonesian) fairs are organised throughout the year. Netherlands_sentence_907

See also Netherlands_section_54


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