General Information about the Netherlands
Kingdom of the Netherlands (in Dutch: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden)
The Kingdom of the Netherlands consists of the Netherlands and its overseas islands – Saba, St. Eustatius and Bonaire. The Netherlands is often called Holland, because of the role the two western provinces North and South Holland played in its history. This region encompasses Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and other well-known Dutch cities such as Delft, Leiden and Haarlem.
Surface and population
The Netherlands is quite small; the surface area is only 41,528 square kilometres. The greatest distance from north to south is 300 kilometres, and from west to east 200 kilometres. The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It has a population of sixteen and a half million and an average of over 400 inhabitants per square kilometres. The Netherlands however has some very interesting cities, beautifully preserved nature, and varied landscapes, always fresh through the wind from the sea. Provinces of the Netherlands The vast majority of the country of the Netherlands is located in Europe and is traditionally divided into 12 provinces, which have their own capital, own self-rulers and administration. Each of these provinces have an unique atmosphere, different history, and different traditions. Thus, more than in any other country of Europe, the richness of the Netherlands lays in its diversity.
Dutch is the national language of The Netherlands. However, English is spoken by almost everyone. In addition, many Dutch people speak German and French. Dutch is the mother tongue of well over 21 million Dutch people and Flemish people (Dutch-speaking nationals of Belgium).
Constitution and capital
The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system, and its government consists of the King and ministers. For historical reasons the government and parliament are in The Hague, although Amsterdam is in fact the capital. The Netherlands has a coalition government. King Willem-Alexander is the head of state.