netherlands in a nutshell the hague region

The Netherlands in a nutshell

The Netherlands is famous for its cheese, windmills, tulips and Amsterdam of course. But the Netherlands is more than that. Here are some facts about this beautiful country.

Official name

Kingdom of the Netherlands

Form of government

Constitutional monarchy, parliamentary democracy

Head of state

His Majesty King Willem-Alexander, King of the Netherlands, Prince of Orange-Nassau



Seat of government

The Hague

Administrative structure

12 provinces and the overseas territories of Aruba, Curacao and St. Martin.  The overseas islands of Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius, all 3 of which are situated in the Caribbean, are ‘special municipalities of the Netherlands’

Surface area

33,800 km2


Western Europe, by the North Sea, bordering Belgium and Germany

Number of inhabitants

17,008,695 (May 2016)

Number of inhabitants per km2

503 (May 2016)

 Monetary unit



Dutch, Frisian

The Netherlands or Holland?

The Netherlands and Holland, 2 terms that are often used when referring to that small country in Western Europe. But which one is it actually? The difference is that the Netherlands consists of all 12 provinces, and Holland is just the 2 provinces South-Holland and North-Holland combined. While the Netherlands is the country’s official name, you may call it however you want to. But for the sake of being consistent, we will call it the Netherlands from now on.