The Netherlands is a northwestern European state that occupies an area of about 16,040 sq miles. The European part of Netherlands is made up of twelve provinces that share a land boundary with the North Sea, Belgium, and Germany. The Netherlands has a maritime border with the United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium. The people from the Netherlands are referred to as the Dutch. They are the native Germanic ethnic group of the country.
The Origin Of The Term ‘’Dutch’’
The English-speaking people used the term ‘’Dutch’’ to refer to the people from Germany and the Netherlands during the early 1500s. During that time, Luxembourg, Belgium, parts of Germany and Netherlands were part of the Roman Empire. Within the Roman Empire, the people from the flatlands (present-day Netherlands) were referred to as the ‘low Dutch’’. The ones from the mountainous region (present-day Southern Germany) were known as the ‘’High Dutch’’. The flatlands (Netherlands) were organized into a single administrative unit under the House of Habsburg. Northern Netherlands gained its independence from the Spanish during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and became the Dutch Republic. The Dutch Republic was the first Dutch nation and the predecessor nation of the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated European states and the sixty-third most populous state in the world with over 17.3million people. Over 80.9% of the residents are Dutch, Moroccans (1.9%), Antilleans (0.8%), Surinamese (2%), Turkish (2.2%), German (2.4%), and Indonesian (2.4%). About 200,000 expatriates reside in the country, particularly around The Hague and Amsterdam. The Dutch are the tallest individuals on earth with the adult females having an average height of 5ft 5.7 inches while the standard height of the adult males is over 5 ft 11.3 inches. There were about 3.8 million residents with at least one foreign parent by November 21, 2016. Over 50% of the young people living in Rotterdam and Amsterdam have a non-western background.
Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, which is used by a considerable percentage of the residents. West Frisian has formal status in Friesland province where its recognized as a second language. Two other regional languages (Low Saxon and Limburgish ) are recognized in the European part of Netherlands under the European Charter for Minority or Regional language. Low Saxon has numerous dialects including Drents from Drenthe province and Twents from Twente region. Limburgish is used in Limburg. English has formal status in Sint Eustatius and Saba. The Dutch love learning new languages and 90% of them can converse in English, German (70%), and French (29%). English is compulsory in all the Dutch secondary schools.
The Netherlands is one of the least religious states on earth. Christianity was the predominant religion in the region until the twentieth century. According to the 2015 Netherlands statistics, over 50.1% of the residents identified themselves as non-religious. Humanistisch Verbond is one of the groups representing the non-religious individuals in the country. About 43.8% of the residents are Christians. 4.6% of the residents are Muslims, and the other religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism make up 1.1%.
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