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The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a 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. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999. In October 2010, the former Netherlands Antilles was dissolved and the three smallest islands - Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba - became special municipalities in the Netherlands administrative structure. The larger islands of Sint Maarten and Curacao joined the Netherlands and Aruba as constituent countries forming the Kingdom of the Netherlands.


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Economy

Economy - overview
The Dutch economy is the fifth-largest economy in the euro-zone and is noted for its stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation, a sizable trade 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 only 2% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for the food-processing industry and for exports. The Netherlands, along with 11 of its EU partners, began circulating the euro currency on 1 January 2002. After 26 years of uninterrupted economic growth, the Dutch economy - highly dependent on an international financial sector and international trade - contracted by 3.5% in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis. The Dutch financial sector suffered, due in part to the high exposure of some Dutch banks to U.S. mortgage-backed securities. In 2008, the government nationalized two banks and injected billions of dollars of capital into other financial institutions, to prevent further deterioration of a crucial sector. The government also sought to boost the domestic economy by accelerating infrastructure programs, offering corporate tax breaks for employers to retain workers, and expanding export credit facilities. The stimulus programs and bank bailouts, however, resulted in a government budget deficit of 5.3% of GDP in 2010 that contrasted sharply with a surplus of 0.7% in 2008. The government of Prime Minister Mark RUTTE began implementing fiscal consolidation measures in early 2011, mainly reductions in expenditures, which resulted in an improved budget deficit of 3.8% of GDP.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 23
$713.1 billion (2011 est.)
$704.1 billion (2010 est.)
$692.8 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$840.4 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 174
1.3% (2011 est.)
1.6% (2010 est.)
-3.5% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 17
$42,700 (2011 est.)
$42,400 (2010 est.)
$41,900 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 2.7%
Industry 24.2%
Services 73.1% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 61
7.809 million (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 2%
Industry 18%
Services 80% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 43
4.4% (2011 est.)
4.5% (2010 est.)

Population below poverty line
10.5% (2005)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 2.5%
Highest 10% 22.9% (1999)

Distribution of family income - gini index World Ranking: 111
30.9 (2007)
32.6 (1994)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 112
18.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget
Revenues $381.3 billion
Expenditures $420.4 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 30
45.4% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 153
-4.7% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 38
65.2% of GDP (2011 est.)
62.9% of GDP (2010 est.)
Note
Data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities, as well as intra-governmental debt; intra-governmental debt consists of treasury borrowings from surpluses in the social funds, such as for retirement, medical care, and unemployment. Debt instruments for the social funds are not sold at public auctions.

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 32
2.3% (2011 est.)
1.3% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 118
1.75% (31 December 2011)
1.75% (31 December 2010)
Note
This is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 174
2% (31 December 2011 est.)
3.013% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 14
$367.2 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$375.5 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Note
See entry for the European Union for money supply in the euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 17 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 17
$1.119 trillion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.088 trillion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 12
$2.083 trillion (31 December 2009 est.)
$1.824 trillion (31 December 2008)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 18
$594.7 billion (31 December 2011)
$661.2 billion (31 December 2010)
$542.5 billion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Grains, potatoes, sugar beets, fruits, vegetables; livestock

Industries
Agroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 149
-0.6% (2011 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 32
105.7 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 28
112.5 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
10.56 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Electricity - imports
4.888 billion kWh (2009 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 59
59,490 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 20
1.009 million bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 12
1.871 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 7
2.577 million bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 56
310 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 9
85.17 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 15
53.19 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 6
57.75 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 14
25.77 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 23
1.387 trillion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 7
$76.71 billion (2011 est.)
$55.09 billion (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 8
$551.8 billion (2011 est.)
$480.7 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels; foodstuffs

Exports - partners
Germany 26.2%, Belgium 14.1%, France 9.3%, UK 7.7%, Italy 4.8% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 10
$493.1 billion (2011 est.)
$429.1 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs, clothing

Imports - partners
Germany 14.6%, China 11.9%, Belgium 8.7%, UK 6.1%, Russia 6%, US 5.9%, France 4.1% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 33
$51.27 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$46.24 billion

Debt - external World Ranking: 8
$2.655 trillion (30 June 2011)
$3.733 trillion (31 December 2009)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home World Ranking: 9
$611.1 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$594.9 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad World Ranking: 6
$977 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$954.4 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates
Euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.7194 (2011 est.)
0.755 (2010 est.)
0.7198 (2009 est.)
0.6827 (2008 est.)
0.7345 (2007 est.)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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  Netherlands (Amsterdam):


  GPS points from Netherlands (Amsterdam)

De Kwakel North Holland

Valthermussel Drenthe

Boerdennen Provincie Drenthe

Binnenhof South Holland

Zeelstse Heide North Brabant

Nieuwe Maadschutting Provincie Friesland

Zuiddorpe Provincie Zeeland

Achthuizen South Holland




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