Meet the Netherlands

      The Netherlands is located in Northwest Europe and has a population of 16.6 million people. It is a geographically low-lying country, with about 20% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level. The capital is Amsterdam, and the seat of government is The Hague. Although the Netherlands is sometimes called Holland, Holland is actually a region in the Netherlands. The Netherlands have 12 regions/provinces including North-Holland (Noord-Holland) and South-Holland (Zuid-Holland). Since the capital Amsterdam is in North-Holland many people refer to the Netherlands as Holland, which the Dutch don't mind. The Netherlands was one of the first parliamentary democracies. Among other affiliations, the country is a founding member of the European Union (EU), NATO, OECD and WTO.

      Traditional Food

      • Uitsmijter


        Uitsmijter means "bouncer" in Dutch. It is thought that this dish used to be served to cafe patrons late at night, just before they were kicked out at the cafe's closing time. Today, there are plenty of variations, but the most standard version is white bread with ham and eggs, and optional cheese.

      Country Info

      Capital: Amsterdam
      Population: 16,531,294

      Student Snapshot

      Usually Dutch students go home after school and hang out with friends or do their homework for the next day. Sometimes they will join a club like soccer, tennis or field hockey, the most popular sports in the Netherlands. On the weekends, students usually have part-time jobs in a shop or restaurant. They might watch or play sports or go shopping. In the evenings, Dutch teens hang out with friends in a café, at the movies or at home. Sunday is typically a day spent with the family, including going to church and having dinner with their parents.

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      Fun Facts

      • Holland is the largest exporter of cheese in the world and its dairy industry as a whole has a turnover of around Euro 7 billion ($5.5 billion).
      • In the Netherlands, chocolade hagelslag, or sprinkles, is used as a sandwich topping. 
      • When Dutch schoolchildren pass their exams, they hang a Dutch flag and a school bag outside their homes.
      • Almost every Dutch person has a bicycle and there are twice as many bikes as cars.
      • The Dutch are statistically the tallest people in the world.


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