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Field of tulips in Netherlands

The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a low-lying country with around a quarter of its territory at or below sea level. Many parts of the Netherlands are protected from flooding by dykes and sea walls and much of the land has been reclaimed from the sea. The Netherlands has a long coastline with the North Sea and borders Belgium to the south and Germany to the east.

The most important sectors of the Netherlands’ economy in 2014 were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (22.4 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (19.8 %) and industry (16.9 %).

The Netherlands’ main export partners are Germany, Belgium and the UK, while its main import partners are Germany, China and Belgium.



Geographical size: 

41 542 km²


16 900 726 (2015)

Population as % of total EU: 

3.3 % (2015)

Gross domestic product (GDP): 

€ 678.572 billion (2015)

Official EU language(s): 


Political system: 

parliamentary constitutional monarchy

EU member country since: 

1 January 1958

Seats in the European Parliament: 



Euro. Member of the eurozone since 1 January 1999

Schengen area member? 

Yes, Schengen Area member since 26 March 1995.

Presidency of the Council: 

the Netherlands has held the revolving presidency of the Council of the EU 12 times between 1960 and 2016.