Independence Year : 1581
Population : 15864000
Life Expectancy : 78.3
Capital : 5
GNP : 371362.00
GNP Old : 360478.00
Local Name : Nederland
Government Form : Constitutional Monarchy
Location : Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany
Terrain : Coastal lowland; land below sea level 24%
Climate : Temperate maritime
Ethnic Group : Predominantly Dutch; largest minority communities are Moroccans, Turks, Surinamese.
Religions : Roman Catholic (31%), Protestant (21%), Muslim (5,5%), other (2,5%), none (40%).
Official Website : www.koninklijkhuis.nl
Genral Information - Netherlands
After centuries of foreign rules by the Romans, Franks, Burgunds, Habsburgs, and Spaniards in 1648 the Dutch Republic became a free and sovereign state. During the 17th century, also called the 'Golden Age', the Republic became increasingly prosperous and a major colonial power, thanks largely to the Dutch East India Company (VOC).
In 1815, the northern and southern Netherlands – today's Netherlands and Belgium – were combined to form the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I but was invaded in World War II by Germany in May 1940 and occupied for five years.
Today the Netherlands is a modern, industrialized nation and the third largest exporter of food. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EU, and participated in the introduction of the Euro in 1999.