The Netherlands is "the low countries" on the
North Sea coast, where more than a quarter of the
surface is below sea level. The country is often called
the Netherlands after its historically dominant region
on the coast. Rotterdam has one of the world's largest
ports and the Netherlands is the world's largest
exporter of cut flowers, such as tulips. Domestic
politics are complicated and the formerly tolerant
nation now has a strong influence on xenophobia.
Brief profiles of Netherlands, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
The Netherlands, located on the North Sea,
have largely been recovered from the sea. Almost a
quarter of the country is below sea level - the
name Netherlands means "the low countries".
However, the country is often called the Netherlands by
its historically dominant region. On the surface, the
Netherlands is slightly larger than Småland.
The landscape is predominantly flat with an average
height of only ten meters above sea level. Hilly terrain
occurs only in the southeastern part of the country,
where a narrow strip of land shoots down between the two
neighboring countries Belgium and Germany. There some
hills reach just over 300 meters above sea level.
Along the coast to the north there is a chain of sand
dunes that cross into the large West Frisian islands.
Within the coastal dune landscape lies the special Dutch
marshland (wetland) which makes up almost half of the
country's surface. It is largely recovered from the sea
and very fertile.
The drying of former sea or lake areas has been
carried out by these being embedded and dug with canals.
One such embankment is called polder.
In the 1930s, the large sea bay Zuiderzee was cut off
from the North Sea by a three-mile long protection wall.
On the embankment, Afsluitdijk, is a motorway. The sea
bay is now replaced by the freshwater lake Ijsselmeer.
Large land areas have also been dry-laid in the project.
Two of these bollards make up the province of Flevoland.
The largest rivers in the Netherlands (the Rhine,
which divides into Lek, Waal and Ijssel), Maas and
Schelde all flow beyond the borders of the country but
flow into the sea in Zeeland, in the southwest of the
Netherlands. In this delta area there are many larger or
smaller islands. After a major flood in 1953, a project,
called the Delta Project, was initiated with the aim of
avoiding such disasters in the future. Through large
ramparts with openable hatches and pumping facilities in
ingenious systems, attempts are made to protect Zeeland
Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten in the Caribbean
(Caribbean) are internally self-governing areas within
the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The islands of Bonaire,
Sint Eustasius and Saba, also in the Caribbean, have the
status of special municipalities within the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has a temperate, humid coastal
climate with cool summers and mild winters. In a normal
year, about 800 millimeters of precipitation falls,
fairly evenly distributed over the year. It averages
about 20 days a year. The humidity is high all year. In
combination with strong winds, humidity during the
winter season becomes permeable.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
41,526 km2 (2018)
Adjacent country (s)
Capital with number of inhabitants
Amsterdam 776,000 (however, the government and
parliament are headquartered in The Hague with 490,000
inhabitants) (estimated 2012)
Other major cities
Rotterdam 576,000, Utrecht 311,000, Eindhoven
225,000, Tilburg 210,000 (2012 estimate)
Vaalserberg (321 m asl)
Lek, Waal and IJssel (which together constitute
Nederrijn, ie the Rhens delta) and Maas and Schelde
Average Precipitation / month
80 mm (July), 73 mm (Jan)
Average / day
17 °C (July), 2 °C (Jan)
The Netherlands Antilles are dissolved
The autonomous province of the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean is
disbanded. The two islands of Curaçao and Sint Maarten are given autonomous
territories within the Netherlands while Sint Eustatius, Saba and Bonaire become
Dutch municipalities with extended autonomy.
Trial against Geert Wilders begins
PVV leader Geert Wilders believes that the judges in the case are biased and
demand that they be replaced, which also happens (see also January 2009).
The new government takes office
The new bourgeois minority government formed in September is sworn in by
Government formation ready
After lengthy negotiations, the VVD and CDA agree to form a minority
government with the support of the PVV. Deputy Mark Rutte becomes prime
minister, the first head of government from the right-wing Liberal Party since
1948. To receive PVV's support in parliament, Rutte must accept a ban on Muslim
women to wear full-length veils (burka and niqab) and agree to halve
immigration. from non-European countries. PVV also gets through a tightening of
the law so that residence permits can be withdrawn due to poor integration.
Among the Christian Democrats there is widespread opposition to the settlement
Afghanistan effort ends
The Netherlands is bringing home its soldiers from Afghanistan since the
country's military operation, which has become increasingly unpopular among the
New elections are held
When new elections are held for the Second Chamber, the Liberal VP will be
greatest with 31 seats, followed by the Labor Party with 30 seats. However, the
biggest increase is the xenophobic PVV: the party increases from 9 seats to 24
and becomes the third largest party. The major loser becomes the Christian
Democratic CDA, which backs from 41 to 21 seats. As a result of the election
defeat, Jan Peter Balkenende resigns as party leader for CDA and also leaves his
seat in parliament. The turnout is just over 75 percent.
The government is falling
The tripartite coalition is cracking down on disagreement over the
Afghanistan effort: The Labor Party cannot accept an extended mandate, despite
NATO asking the Netherlands not to bring home its nearly 2,000 soldiers this
fall. CDA and CU who want a smaller force left in Afghanistan remain in a
transitional government (see also February 2007).