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Netherlands (2006)

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Netherlands 2006 year

Administrative divisions 12 provinces (provincies, singular - provincie); Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland (Fryslan), Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland, Zuid-Holland
Age structure 0-14 years: 18% (male 1,515,123/female 1,445,390)

15-64 years: 67.8% (male 5,656,448/female 5,525,481)

65 years and over: 14.2% (male 994,723/female 1,354,296) (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, vegetables; livestock
Airports 27 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways total: 20

over 3,047 m: 2

2,438 to 3,047 m: 9

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 4

under 914 m: 2 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 7

914 to 1,523 m: 3

under 914 m: 4 (2006)
Area total: 41,526 sq km

land: 33,883 sq km

water: 7,643 sq km
Area - comparative slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
Background The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered invasion and occupation by Germany in World War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999.
Birth rate 10.9 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Budget revenues: $291.8 billion

expenditures: $303.7 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Capital name: Amsterdam

geographic coordinates: 52 23 N, 4 54 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

note: The Hague (seat of government)
Climate temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters
Coastline 451 km
Constitution adopted 1815; amended many times, most recently in 2002
Country name conventional long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands

conventional short form: Netherlands

local long form: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden

local short form: Nederland
Death rate 8.68 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Debt - external $1.645 trillion (30 June 2005)
Dependent areas Aruba, Netherlands Antilles
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Roland E. ARNALL

embassy: Lange Voorhout 102, 2514 EJ, The Hague

mailing address: PSC 71, Box 1000, APO AE 09715

telephone: [31] (70) 310-2209

FAX: [31] (70) 361-4688

consulate(s) general: Amsterdam
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador Christiaan Mark Johan KRONER

chancery: 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 244-5300

FAX: [1] (202) 362-3430

consulate(s) general: Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York

consulate(s): Boston
Disputes - international none
Economic aid - donor ODA, $4 billion (2003 est.)
Economy - overview The Netherlands has a prosperous and open economy, which depends heavily on foreign trade. The economy is noted for stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizable current account surplus, and an important role as a European transportation hub. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A highly mechanized agricultural sector employs no more than 2% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for the food-processing industry and for exports. The Netherlands, along with 11 of its EU partners, began circulating the euro currency on 1 January 2002. The country continues to be one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment. Economic growth slowed considerably in 2001-05, as part of the global economic slowdown, but for the four years before that, annual growth averaged nearly 4%, well above the EU average.
Electricity - consumption 101.6 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports 3.8 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports 20.8 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - production 95 billion kWh (2004)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Zuidplaspolder -7 m

highest point: Vaalserberg 322 m
Environment - current issues water pollution in the form of heavy metals, organic compounds, and nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates; air pollution from vehicles and refining activities; acid rain
Environment - international agreements party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
Ethnic groups Dutch 83%, other 17% (of which 9% are non-Western origin mainly Turks, Moroccans, Antilleans, Surinamese, and Indonesians) (1999 est.)
Exchange rates euros per US dollar - 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001)
Executive branch chief of state: Queen BEATRIX (since 30 April 1980); Heir Apparent WILLEM-ALEXANDER (born 27 April 1967), son of the monarch

head of government: Prime Minister Jan Peter BALKENENDE (since 22 July 2002) and Deputy Prime Ministers Gerrit ZALM (since 27 May 2003) and Laurens Jan BRINKHORST (since 31 March 2005); note - Prime Minister BALKENENDE tendered his resignation on 30 June 2006

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch

elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; following Second Chamber elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; vice prime ministers appointed by the monarch

note: there is also a Council of State composed of the monarch, heir apparent, and councilors that provides consultations to the cabinet on legislative and administrative policy
Exports 3.8 billion kWh (2003)
Exports $365.1 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports 49.28 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Exports 1.418 million bbl/day (2001)
Exports - commodities machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs
Exports - partners Germany 24.9%, Belgium 13%, France 9.4%, UK 9.1%, Italy 5.7%, US 4.3%, Spain 4.1% (2005)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue; similar to the flag of Luxembourg, which uses a lighter blue and is longer; one of the oldest flags in constant use, originating with WILLIAM I, Prince of Orange, in the latter half of the 16th century
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 2.1%

industry: 24.4%

services: 73.6% (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 1.5% (2005 est.)
Geographic coordinates 52 30 N, 5 45 E
Geography - note located at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Schelde)
Heliports 1 (2006)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 2.5%

highest 10%: 22.9% (1999)
Illicit drugs major European producer of ecstasy, illicit amphetamines, and other synthetic drugs; important gateway for cocaine, heroin, and hashish entering Europe; major source of US-bound ecstasy; large financial sector vulnerable to money laundering
Imports 20.8 billion kWh (2003)
Imports $326.6 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports 20.78 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Imports 2.284 million bbl/day (2001)
Imports - commodities machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs, clothing
Imports - partners Germany 16.6%, Belgium 9.3%, China 8.8%, US 7.6%, UK 5.8%, France 4.7%, Russia 4.4% (2005)
Independence 23 January 1579 (the northern provinces of the Low Countries conclude the Union of Utrecht breaking with Spain; on 26 July 1581 they formally declared their independence with an Act of Abjuration; however, it was not until 30 January 1648 and the Peace of Westphalia that Spain recognized this independence)
Industrial production growth rate -1.4% (2005 est.)
Industries agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing
Infant mortality rate total: 4.96 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 5.52 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 1.7% (2005 est.)
International organization participation AfDB, Arctic Council (observer), AsDB, Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CBSS (observer), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC
Irrigated land 5,650 sq km (2003)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Hoge Raad (justices are nominated for life by the monarch)
Labor force 7.53 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture: 2%

industry: 19%

services: 79% (2004 est.)
Land boundaries total: 1,027 km

border countries: Belgium 450 km, Germany 577 km
Land use arable land: 21.96%

permanent crops: 0.77%

other: 77.27% (2005)
Languages Dutch (official), Frisian (official)
Legal system civil law system incorporating French penal theory; constitution does not permit judicial review of acts of the States General; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Legislative branch bicameral States General or Staten Generaal consists of the First Chamber or Eerste Kamer (75 seats; members indirectly elected by the country's 12 provincial councils for four-year terms) and the Second Chamber or Tweede Kamer (150 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)

elections: First Chamber - last held 25 May 2003 (next to be held May 2007); Second Chamber - last held 22 November 2006 (next to be held November 2010)

election results: First Chamber - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CDA 23, PvdA 19, VVD 15, Green Party 5, Socialist Party 4, D66 3, other 6; Second Chamber - percent of vote by party - CDA 26.5, PvdA 21.2%, Socialist Party 16.6%, VVD 14.6%, Party for Freedom 5.9%, Green Party 4.6%, Christian Union 4.0%; seats by party - CDA 41, PvdA 33, Socialist Party 25, VVD 22, Party for Freedom 9, Green Party 7, Christian Union 6, other 7
Life expectancy at birth total population: 78.96 years

male: 76.39 years

female: 81.67 years (2006 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 99%

male: 99%

female: 99% (2003 est.)
Location Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany
Map references Europe
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
Merchant marine total: 558 ships (1000 GRT or over) 5,042,775 GRT/5,016,265 DWT

by type: bulk carrier 29, cargo 345, chemical tanker 29, container 59, liquefied gas 12, passenger 14, passenger/cargo 14, petroleum tanker 16, refrigerated cargo 19, roll on/roll off 18, specialized tanker 3

foreign-owned: 157 (Australia 1, Belgium 2, Denmark 9, Finland 13, Germany 56, Ireland 10, Netherlands Antilles 1, Norway 7, Sweden 26, UK 19, US 13)

registered in other countries: 222 (Antigua and Barbuda 14, Australia 2, Austria 2, Bahamas 24, Canada 1, Cayman Islands 4, Cyprus 18, Gibraltar 5, Isle of Man 1, Liberia 29, Luxembourg 2, Malta 6, Marshall Islands 1, Netherlands Antilles 54, Norway 3, Panama 21, Philippines 19, Portugal 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 5, Singapore 2, UK 3, US 4, unknown 1) (2006)
Military branches Royal Netherlands Army, Royal Netherlands Navy (includes Naval Air Service and Marine Corps), Royal Netherlands Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht, KLu), Royal Military Police, Defense Interservice Command (DICO) (2006)
Military expenditures - dollar figure $9.408 billion (2004)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.6% (2004)
National holiday Queen's Day (Birthday of Queen-Mother JULIANA in 1909 and accession to the throne of her oldest daughter BEATRIX in 1980), 30 April
Nationality noun: Dutchman(men), Dutchwoman(women)

adjective: Dutch
Natural hazards flooding
Natural resources natural gas, petroleum, peat, limestone, salt, sand and gravel, arable land
Net migration rate 2.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Pipelines condensate 81 km; gas 7,229 km; oil 578 km; refined products 716 km (2006)
Political parties and leaders Christian Democratic Appeal or CDA [Ernst Hirsch BALLIN]; Christian Union Party [Andre ROUVOET]; Democrats 66 or D66 [Lousewies VAN DER LAAN]; Green Party [Femke HALSEMA]; Labor Party or PvdA [Wouter BOS]; List Pim Fortuyn [Ton VAN DILLEN]; Party for Freedom [Geert WILDERS]; People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Liberal) or VVD [Pieter WINSEMIUS]; Socialist Party [Jan MARIJNISSEN]; plus a few minor parties
Political pressure groups and leaders Netherlands Trade Union Federation or FNV (consisting of a merger of Socialist and Catholic trade unions); Christian Trade Union Federation or CNV; Trade Union Federation of Middle and High Personnel or MHP; Federation of Catholic and Protestant Employers Associations; Interchurch Peace Council or IKV; large multinational firms; the nondenominational Federation of Netherlands Enterprises
Population 16,491,461 (July 2006 est.)
Population below poverty line 10.5% NA%
Population growth rate 0.49% (2006 est.)
Radio broadcast stations AM 4, FM 246, shortwave 3 (2004)
Railways total: 2,808 km

standard gauge: 2,808 km 1.435-m gauge (2,061 km electrified) (2005)
Religions Roman Catholic 31%, Dutch Reformed 13%, Calvinist 7%, Muslim 5.5%, other 2.5%, none 41% (2002)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: highly developed and well maintained

domestic: extensive fixed-line fiber-optic network; cellular telephone system is one of the largest in Europe with five major network operators utilizing the third generation of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM)

international: country code - 31; 9 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean), 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions) (2004)
Telephones - main lines in use 7.6 million (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular 15.834 million (2005)
Television broadcast stations 21 (plus 26 repeaters) (1995)
Terrain mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast
Total fertility rate 1.66 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate 6.6% (2005 est.)
Waterways 6,183 km (navigable for ships of 50 tons) (2005)
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