Canal in Amsterdam Netherlands

Flag_of_the_NetherlandsInformation Netherlands

The Netherlands (aka Holland) are located along the North Sea and sharing a border with Belgium and Germany. The territory, with an area of 41,526 km², is mainly coastal or reclaimed from the sea (polders). A quarter of the land is below the sea level, the minimum altitude is of -6.76 meters record in Europe. These very low-lying land could be affected by rising sea levels if global warming. The IPCC (International group for climate studies) also considers the Rhine delta as one of the most vulnerable in the world.


Official name: Kingdom of the Netherlands
Type of government: Constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system
Head of state: King Willem-Alexander since April 30, 2013
Head of government: Mark Rutte (VVD liberal party) since October 14, 2010


Area: 41,500 km2
Capital: Amsterdam (the government and central governments sit in The Hague)
Main cities: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Eindhoven
Official language: Dutch
common languages: Dutch, English
Currency: Euro
National Day: April 27 (King’s birthday)


Population: 16,838,413 inhab. at 1 February 2014
Density: 405.1 km2
Population Growth: 3 per 1,000 in 2013
Life expectancy: 79.5 years for men and 83.2 years for women (2013)
Literacy rate: 99%
Religions: Roman Catholic (27%), Protestant (17%), Muslim (6%), other religions (4%), with no religious affiliation (44%) – (CBS, 2009).
Human development index: 0.921; 4th worldwide (UNDP Report 2013)


Sources: DGTPE, IMF, Eurostat, UNDP, CPB

City-of-Rotterdam-Holland-the-NetherlandsGDP (2014): 650.7 billion euros
GDP per capita (2014): 38,596 euros
growth rate (2014): 0.7% (forecast for 2015: 2% according to the CPB)
Unemployment rate (June 2015): 7%
Inflation rate (2014): 0.3%
Budget balance (2014): -2.3% of GDP (European Commission forecast for 2015: 2.2%)
Public debt: 68.8% (2014)
Trade Balance (2014): 63.5 billion euros

Main clients (2014): Germany (22.2%), Belgium (12.3%), UK (8.2%), France (8.0%), USA (3.7%), Italy (3.7%)
Major suppliers (2014): Germany (14.2%), China (12.9%), Belgium (8.3%), USA (6.3%), United Kingdom (5.6%), Russia (5.2%)

Share of main sectors in GDP:

Agriculture: 2.0%
Industry: 23.8%
Services: 74.7%

Exports from France to the Netherlands (2014): 17.5 billion
French imports from the Netherlands (2014): 21.5 billion euros

Consulate General of France: Amsterdam
French community in the Netherlands: 23 753 registered (December 2014)
Dutch community in France: 60,000 (estimate)



Neanderthal men can be traced in Holland 250000 years BC.
Hunter-gatherers tribes were found 5000 BC. Their technology was developing. This is Holland that was found the world oldest canoe.  Trade with the rest of Europe has v=been attested by the presence of copper object were not to be found.

It is probably the deterioration of the weather in Scandinavia that pushed Germanic tribes to move south and settled in the northern part Netherlands.
The Gallic Celts expanded north and settled in the Southern area of the Low Countries.

When conquering Gaul, the Romans set the Rhine River as their norther border, thus putting a part of the Low Countries under their rules. However, the tribes north of it, if not conquered per say, were de facto under the control of Mighty Rome.

Rebellions occurred, in particular the one of the BatavI. The tribes merged into the Confederation of Salian Franks.
The Franks extended their power after the fall of the Roman Empire.

In 800, Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Franks, the Low Countries being part of it.
At his death, the Empire was parted in three. The Low Countries were part of the Middle Francia, under the loose management of weak Kings.
Vikings raided Holland. Some nobles dared to resist and gained stature and popularity.
In the High Middle Ages, The Low Countries were a mosaic of fiefdoms, paying very little repsect to Holy Roman Empire that was supposed to rule the area now.

Thanks to new technologies, agriculture developed. Towns grew and a trade expanded.
Farmers started to drain the swampy lands in the west, building Holland as a new center of power.
Local noble men invited Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, to take control of it.

The Netherlands and Belgium were united under the rule pf Philippe the Good in 1433.
Under the rule of the Burgundians and their Habsburgs heirs, the very idea of a Dutch nation emerged.
Amsterdam grew and became one of the busiest trading places in Europe during the 15th century.

Holland and Belgium were incorporated into the “Seventeen Provinces” by Charles V, Habsburg of Spain.
In 1568, the “Eighty Years War” started.
Protestant England came in support to the Dutch rebellion against the Spanish rulers.
In 1648 the seven Northern Provinces were granted independence and formed a confederation.

This confederation expanded rapidly thanks to technology but also has been at the forefront of arts and philosophy.
The Dutch build an Empire. They settled in America, founding New-Amsterdam that would become New York later.  They took possession of Taiwan and thus controlled the Straits of Formosa. They conquered Indonesia, installing trading posts and colonizing the remote parts through Christianization.

In 1795, with the help of French Revolutionaries the “Batavian Republic” was proclaimed, to be replaced by the Kingdom of Holland, part of the French Empire, ruled by a brother of Napoleon.

The United Kingdom of the Netherlands was founded in 1815, after Napoleon’s fall. It lasted until Belgium broke free of it in 1830.

The Kingdom kept control of its colonies, gaining a large profit of it..

In 1914, The Netherlands managed to remain neutral throughout the whole WWI.

However, World War II has been a different story with the brutal invasion of the Nazi forces.
Japan invaded the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia).

After the war, Indonesia declared its independence in 1945 triggering an independence war with Holland. The Republic of Indonesian was finally recognized in 1949.
Like other European nations, The Netherlands launched a decolonization program.

The Netherlands formed the Benelux Union, with Belgium and Luxembourg. This was the first attempt to Economic Union in Europe.

The Netherlands are of one the 6 founding Nations of Europe and a member of NATO;

Good to know


The Netherlands use the Euro (€)

The Euro (€) is the currency of the Economic and Monetary Union, inside the European Union.
19 countries of the European Union have chosen Euro as their currency, thus creating the Eurozone.
Four European micro-states, Monaco, Andorra, San Marino and Vatican City, are authorized to use Euro as well.
Two countries, non-members of Economic and Monetary Union, namely the Kosovo and the Montenegro, are also using it besides their national currencies.
The Euro has been circulated since January 1st 2002, replacing the national currencies of the member-countries.
The Euro is the second most used currency, behind the US Dollar, for the number of transactions.
The Euro is managed by the European Central Bank and the Eurosystem that comprises the 19 Central Banks of the member-countries.
Even if each member prints its own banknotes or mints its own coins, they are usable indiferently within the Eurozone.




Where to go?

How to settle there?


To do business


Tax system

Personal income tax

The Netherlands apply a progressive rate

Taxable income (€) Rate (%) Premium National Insurance (%) Total rate (%)
From 0 to 19,922 8,4 28,15 36,55
From 19,223 to 33,715 12,25 28,15 40,40
From 33,716 to 66,421 40,40 40,40
Above 66,421 52 52

Corporate income tax

The rate depends on the taxable income.

If the taxable income is below  200,000 €, the rate will be 20 %.
If the rate is above  200,000 €, the rate will be 25 %.


The standard rate is 21 %
First necessity products such as food or medecine are taxed at 6%.
Some activities, such as eductaion, are exempted from VAT.


Custom duties





Armed forces

Air Force

Type In service On order
F 16A 66
F 35A 83 planned
KDC10 2
C130H 4
AH 64D 27
AS532 11
CH47D 17 17 planned
NH90 ((NFH) 13 3
F16 B 9
F 35 A 2
PC 7 13






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