The Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. A modern, industrialized nation, Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of the EC (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 1999.
Netherlands is one of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the other are the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacao and Sint Maarten.
Administrative divisions: 12 provinces (provincies, singular - provincie); Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland and Zuid-Holland.
Terrain: Mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast. Highest point: Vaalserberg 322 m.
Total area: 41,526 km². Coastline: 451 km.
Population: 17,1 million (2018).
Religions: Roman Catholic 23.6%, Protestant 14.9% (includes Dutch Reformed 6.4%, Protestant Church of The Netherlands 5.6%, Calvinist 2.9%), Islam 5.1%, other 5.6% (includes Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish), none 50.7% (2017 est.).
Ethnic groups: Dutch 76.9%, EU 6.4%, Turkish 2.4%, Moroccan 2.3%, Indonesian 2.1%, German 2.1%, Surinamese 2%, Polish 1%, other 4.8% (2018 est.).
Languages: Dutch (official language), Frisian.
Main source: CIA - The World Factbook.
The Gothic Town Hall in Gouda, western Netherlands.
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