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GPS N51.68618°,E4.899902°
The Netherlands (or Holland is also often used) is one of three countries of Benelux. It lies in the western part of Europe between Germany and Belgium, bordering also with the Northern Sea. Its official name is the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Koninkrijk der Nederlanden). It covers the area of 41 526 square kilometers, most of which is land. Most of the terrain is lowland, some hills are in southeast. The highest point of the country is in the height of 322 metres above sea level (Vaalsberg), the lowest one (Zuidplaspolder) 7 metres below sea level. The climate is temperate.

The capital city of the Netherlands is Amsterdam; other big cities are Rotterdam and Haag. As far as the governmental type of the country is concerned, the Netherlands is constitutional monarchy. The country is divided into 12 provinces (Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland (Fryslan), Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland, Zuid-Holland) and there are two dependent areas, Aruba and Netherlands Antilles. The 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. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999.

The population of the country is nearly 16 and half million, 83% of them are of Dutch origin, the rest 17% belong to other races, mainly Turks, Moroccans or other non-Western origin population. The density is 378 inhabitants per square kilometer. 40% of people do not belong to any religion, 31% are Roman Catholics and other churches are Dutch Reformed, Calvinist and Muslim. There are two official languages in the Netherlands: Dutch and Frisian.

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. Main agricultural products are grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, vegetables and livestock. Most of the population (79%) works in services.

The international abbreviation for the Netherlands is NLD, the label on the motor vehicles is NL, the internet domain is .nl and the international phone code is +31.

External References:
Wikipedia article on Netherlands
Netherlands at CIA World Factbook
Netherlands travel information
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