The Netherlands is known as a politically stable country with a sound financial policy. The Netherlands is one of the most open economies in the world and is one of the world’s top 5 biggest exporters. Three quarters of the professional population work in the tertiary sector, one quarter in the industrial sector and only 4 percent in agriculture. Despite these figure, the Netherlands are a big exporter of agricultural and horticultural products. Some big Dutch companies are: Shell, Unilever, Akzo Nobel, Philips, Aegon, ING Group, Rabobank, Heineken, TNT and Randstad.
With over 16.5 million people and a population density of 488 people per km2, the Netherlands is the most densely populated country of the European Union and one of the mostly densely populated countries in the world. The total size of the Netherlands is 41,500 km2. Amsterdam is the capital, but the government resides in The Hague. More than 40% of the total population live in the Randstad, the agglomeration of the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.
The official language is Dutch. The population of the province of Friesland has a choice between Dutch and Frisian, the only officially recognised regional language. The Netherlands also include the regional languages of West Low German and Limburgs. Inother parts of the Netherlands, people often speak a dialect besides Standard Dutch. Many Dutch people also speak German and English.
Water dominates the Dutch landscape. Three big European rivers the Rijn, Maas en the Schelde reach the ocean via the Netherlands and create an important delta. 26% of the Netherlands is under sea level. During a age-long battle against the water, the Dutch constructed a water system consisting of dykes, polders and weirs. However, the Netherlands offers more variation than the familiar green, flat polder landscape with black and white cows.opulated countries in the world. The total size of the Netherlands is 41,500 km2. Amsterdam is the capital, but the government resides in The Hague. More than 40% of the total population live in the Randstad, the agglomeration of the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.
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