112 Interesting Facts About Netherlands

Last updated on April 15th, 2022

The Netherlands often referred to as Holland, is a country located mostly in North Western Europe. It has an area of 41,543 square km. The country’s capital and largest city is Amsterdam. Its official language is Dutch. Its official currency is Euro (€) (EUR). It has four bordering countries that are Germany, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom.

The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten. The Netherlands contains roughly 98% of the area and population of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and it also looks after the affairs of the Kingdom. With these facts about The Netherlands, let us learn more about its history, geography, people, culture, government and more.

1. The Netherlands literally means “low countries.” As 50% of the land of the country is just over 1m above sea level. Moreover, 21% of its population and 26% of its area is below sea level. Belgium and Luxembourg are other examples of low lying countries.

2. Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe and the second largest in the world. Between 1962 and 2004, it was also the world’s busiest port. Shanghai, China has the biggest port in the world.

3. The Netherlands remained neutral in the World War I but was invaded and occupied by Germany in the World War II.

4. After World War II, some 500,000 Dutch left the country in search of better opportunities.

5. It is the world’s first country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001. The Netherlands is also the birthplace of Wim Hof, also known as The Iceman. Watch the video below to learn more about his amazing technique to bring the best out of a human being.

6. It is also a founding member of the EU, NATO, OECD, WTO and also a part of Schengen Area.

7. The Hague is dubbed as the world’s legal capital because it has Europol, Eurojust and UN Detention Unit.

8. The Netherlands is classified as a densely populated country. In 2017, the population density of the country is 504 (17,084,719 people living on 33,893 sq km of land area.) Other densely populated countries include Bangladesh (1212 people per square kilometer of land area) and Taiwan (728 people per square kilometer of land area).

9. After the U.S., the Netherlands is the world’s second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products.

10. The Netherlands Index of economic freedom is at 75.8 score in 2017.

11. The five largest cities of the Netherlands are Amsterdam (capital), Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, and Eindhoven.

12. According to the World Happiness Report – 2017, the Netherland is the sixth-most happiest country in the world.

13. The official websites of the country are Holland.com and hollandtradeandinvest.com. Holland is so effectively used in the country which is why the websites’ names are still used in the old way.

14. Houten, a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht, is considered to be the safest place in the world. Wondering why? Because nobody drives cars in the town and today all of its residents use bikes for commuting.

15. The Netherlands is an undisputed world leader in water management. They are home to world’s ten best engineering firms for water project management, after the U.S.

The Flag of the Netherlands

the flag of the Netherlands
The national flag of the Netherlands. Three equal horizontal bands of red (bright vermilion; top), white, and blue (cobalt); similar to the flag of Luxembourg, which uses a lighter blue and is longer; the colors were derived from those of WILLIAM I, Prince of Orange, who led the Dutch Revolt against Spanish sovereignty in the latter half of the 16th century; originally the upper band was orange, but because its dye tended to turn red over time, the red shade was eventually made the permanent color; the banner is perhaps the oldest tricolor in continuous use. Image credit – CIA

16. The country is famous for its cheese, windmills, clogs, and flatlands.

17. The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy divided into 12 provinces: Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, Zeeland, Noord-Brabant, Utrecht, Flevoland, Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe, Overijssel, Gelderland, and Limburg.

18. The Dutch Queen is an Argentinian.

Traffic, cyclists, scooter and pedestrians on a crossroad in Amsterdam in spring.
Traffic, cyclists, scooter and pedestrians on a crossroad in Amsterdam in spring.

19. The country is an ideal place to cycle as it is mostly flat. It is also known as “the bicycle capital” of the world because it has more bikes than people. The country is expected to have 18 million bicycles and a population of 17 million.

20. The Netherlands is generally a liberal and one of the most progressive countries in the world. Abortion, prostitution, and Euthanasia are all legal in the country. The Dutch prostitutes pay taxes to the government.

Beautiful view of Amsterdam canals with bridge and typical dutch houses. Holland.
Beautiful view of Amsterdam canals with bridge and typical dutch houses. Holland.

21. The country has plenty of rivers, lakes, and canals. Some 99.9% of the country’s households have access to clean, chlorine free drinking water.

22. It rains every month in the country and people use raincoats instead of umbrellas to counter the heavy winds that blow.

23. The best time to visit the country is from May to September. Germans visit the Netherlands in a large number.

24. The biggest international airport in the Netherlands is the Schiphol airport. It is 4 m below sea level.

25. Vincent Van (1853-1890) Gough was a famous Dutch painter. There is a museum in Amsterdam dedicated to this famous painter. The museum has a collection of over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 750 written documents. The museum is visited by some 1.5 million visitors each year.

26. The most important sectors of the Netherlands include – public administration, education, defense, human health, social work activities, wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services, and industries.

27. The Netherlands is also a member of the Benelux Economic Union. Its other two members are Belgium and Luxembourg.

28. The Netherlands highest point is Vaalserberg, which is 321 m above sea level.

29. The Netherlands national anthem Wilhelmus is the oldest national anthem in the world. It was written in 1568 and became official in 1932.

30. According to the 2014 Oxfam report, The Netherlands is also one of the healthiest countries in the world.

The Netherlands on the map

31. The Dutch are the tallest men in the world with an average height of 183 cm. The Dutch women, on the other hand, are on an average 171cm tall.

32. The Netherlands has the highest English Proficiency in the world. Nine out of every ten people in the country speak English as a second language.

33. It is also one of the top countries in the world for kids to learn a new language at school.

34. The Netherlands is the world’s leading Tulip exporter. The country is expected to export 2 billion dollars worth of tulips in 2017. However, it is important to note here that the tulips are not native to the Netherlands and were imported from Turkey in the 16th century.

35. Zuidplaspolder is the lowest point in the country. It is 7m below sea level. The point along with Lammefjord in Denmark is the lowest point of Western Europe and the European Union.

36. The Netherlands is also the world’s second-biggest exporter of beer. In France, Germany, the Netherlands they serve beer in Mc Donalds. 

37. On average, the Dutch cycle 1000 km during a year. The teenager in the country cycle 2000 km per year. There are 16 bike shops per 100,000 inhabitants in the Netherlands.

38. Cycling while being drunk is illegal in the country and interestingly, the country also has the lowest rate of serious injury per million km cycled.

Aerial bird view of Schiphol Amsterdam Airport on a cloudy day. A lot of KLM jets are parked at the gate.
Aerial bird view of Schiphol Amsterdam Airport on a cloudy day. A lot of KLM jets are parked at the gate.

39. Schiphol airport handles more than 60 million passengers every year.

40. Almost 20% of the babies are born in the home in the Netherlands. The people of the country promote/cherish the act and do not unnecessarily hoard hospitals when the occasion comes.

41. The Dutch are also the proud producers of orange carrots for the first time in the world. And orange is their national color.

42. Cds, DVDs, and Blu-ray all originated in the Netherlands.

43. Amsterdam has the world’s oldest stock exchange. The Dutch East India Company is the first truly multinational company in the world. It issued stocks in 1602 and became the first company to do so.

44. The first compound microscope was built in the Netherlands.

Summer house in the Netherlands - Giethoorn.
Summer house in the Netherlands – Giethoorn.

45. Despite the high population in the country, high rise buildings are not so common.

46. The Netherlands is a secular country. Almost 40% of its population is not religious, 30% is Catholic and 20% is Protestants.

47. The Dutch are also the most physically active people in the world. More than 50% of the population involves in some sport every week at least once.

48. Randstad – almost 40% of the population of the country lives here. It is a megapolis of four zones including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht.

49. Amsterdam is almost completely built on poles that are buried almost 12 meters into the layer of fen and clay.

Dutch licorice cubes, called Griotten.
Dutch licorice cubes, called Griotten.

50. The Netherlands is also the largest consumer of Licorice in the world.

51. The country is also fortunate to have the lowest incidence of lactose intolerance in the world. Only 1% of its population is affected by it.

52. Amsterdam has 1281 bridges.

53. There are 20 national parks in The Netherlands. See the list here.

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