Netherlands - Statistics & Facts

The Netherlands is located in Western Europe on the North Sea. It is bordered by Germany and Belgium. The country’s name is quite appropriate as about one quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level. The Netherlands is known for famous artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh and Mondrian, and because of its long-time history as one of the most important maritime trading nations. In recent times, the Netherlands has also been a leading supporter of international cooperation.


The population of the Netherlands has been quite stable at around 17 million over the last decade, and around 90 percent of the population lives in urban areas. The fertility rate has only slightly changed, while population growth has experienced a slump in 2013. The average life expectancy of inhabitants is around 81 years, and the percentage of the population 65 years or older is growing, which proves a stable healthcare system and economy, but is placing higher demands on the welfare system.

The economy of the Netherlands is similar to that of the European Union as a whole. The rate of GDP growth in the Netherlands was negative during 2012 and 2013, but the economy was able to recover somewhat in 2014. GDP per capita, despite positive growth predictions for 2014, is expected to decrease slightly in 2015. However, due to negative and slow economic growth, the government has imposed austerity measures and has slightly reduced spending compared to revenue.

The economy of the Netherlands is largely based in services which compose almost a 75 percent share of GDP. Industry composes around a 15 percent share and agriculture composes the rest. Employment across the sectors has about the same distribution. The unemployment rate increased between 2012 and 2013, but it is expected to decrease slightly as the economy improves. Trade continues to play an important role for the Netherlands and the country has a positive trade balance which contributes to a stable economy. Imports and exports occurs predominantly with Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and China. Overall, the Netherlands is experiencing slow economic growth but the economy remains stable.

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