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Netherlands vs. Germany

Introduction

NetherlandsGermany
BackgroundThe 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 German invasion and occupation 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.
As Europe's largest economy and second most populous nation (after Russia), Germany is a key member of the continent's economic, political, and defense organizations. European power struggles immersed Germany in two devastating World Wars in the first half of the 20th century and left the country occupied by the victorious Allied powers of the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Union in 1945. With the advent of the Cold War, two German states were formed in 1949: the western Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the eastern German Democratic Republic (GDR). The democratic FRG embedded itself in key western economic and security organizations, the EC, which became the EU, and NATO, while the communist GDR was on the front line of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact. The decline of the USSR and the end of the Cold War allowed for German reunification in 1990. Since then, Germany has expended considerable funds to bring eastern productivity and wages up to western standards. In January 1999, Germany and 10 other EU countries introduced a common European exchange currency, the euro.

Geography

NetherlandsGermany
LocationWestern Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany
Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark
Geographic coordinates52 30 N, 5 45 E
51 00 N, 9 00 E
Map referencesEurope
Europe
Areatotal: 41,543 sq km
land: 33,893 sq km
water: 7,650 sq km
total: 357,022 sq km
land: 348,672 sq km
water: 8,350 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly less than twice the size of New Jersey
three times the size of Pennsylvania; slightly smaller than Montana
Land boundariestotal: 1,053 km
border countries (2): Belgium 478 km, Germany 575 km
total: 3,714 km
border countries (9): Austria 801 km, Belgium 133 km, Czech Republic 704 km, Denmark 140 km, France 418 km, Luxembourg 128 km, Netherlands 575 km, Poland 467 km, Switzerland 348 km
Coastline451 km
2,389 km
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climatetemperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters
temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm mountain (foehn) wind
Terrainmostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast
lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 30 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Zuidplaspolder -7 m
highest point: Mount Scenery 862 m (on the island of Saba in the Caribbean, now considered an integral part of the Netherlands following the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles)
note: the highest point on continental Netherlands is Vaalserberg at 322 m
mean elevation: 263 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Neuendorf bei Wilster -3.54 m
highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m
Natural resourcesnatural gas, petroleum, peat, limestone, salt, sand and gravel, arable land
coal, lignite, natural gas, iron ore, copper, nickel, uranium, potash, salt, construction materials, timber, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 55.1%
arable land 29.8%; permanent crops 1.1%; permanent pasture 24.2%
forest: 10.8%
other: 34.1% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 48%
arable land 34.1%; permanent crops 0.6%; permanent pasture 13.3%
forest: 31.8%
other: 20.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land4,860 sq km (2012)
6,500 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsflooding
flooding
Environment - current issueswater pollution in the form of heavy metals, organic compounds, and nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates; air pollution from vehicles and refining activities; acid rain
emissions from coal-burning utilities and industries contribute to air pollution; acid rain, resulting from sulfur dioxide emissions, is damaging forests; pollution in the Baltic Sea from raw sewage and industrial effluents from rivers in eastern Germany; hazardous waste disposal; government established a mechanism for ending the use of nuclear power by 2022; government working to meet EU commitment to identify nature preservation areas in line with the EU's Flora, Fauna, and Habitat directive
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - notelocated at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Schelde)
strategic location on North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea; most major rivers in Germany - the Rhine, Weser, Oder, Elbe - flow northward; the Danube, which originates in the Black Forest, flows eastward
Population distributionan area known as the Randstad, anchored by the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague, and Utrecht, is the most densely populated region; the north tends to be less dense, though sizeable communities can be found throughout the entire country
most populous country in Europe; a fairly even distribution throughout most of the country, with urban areas attracting larger and denser populations, particularly in the far western part of the industrial state of North Rhine-Westphalia

Demographics

NetherlandsGermany
Population17,016,967 (July 2016 est.)
80,722,792 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 16.56% (male 1,442,059/female 1,375,479)
15-24 years: 12.11% (male 1,050,889/female 1,010,596)
25-54 years: 39.83% (male 3,400,998/female 3,377,311)
55-64 years: 13.14% (male 1,113,587/female 1,123,165)
65 years and over: 18.35% (male 1,411,830/female 1,711,053) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 12.83% (male 5,317,183/female 5,040,664)
15-24 years: 10.22% (male 4,203,985/female 4,044,789)
25-54 years: 40.96% (male 16,721,667/female 16,345,911)
55-64 years: 14.23% (male 5,695,117/female 5,788,493)
65 years and over: 21.76% (male 7,709,799/female 9,855,184) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 42.5 years
male: 41.4 years
female: 43.4 years (2016 est.)
total: 46.8 years
male: 45.7 years
female: 47.9 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate0.4% (2016 est.)
-0.16% (2016 est.)
Birth rate10.9 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
8.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate8.8 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
11.6 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate1.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
1.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.82 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 3.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.3 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 81.3 years
male: 79.2 years
female: 83.6 years (2016 est.)
total population: 80.7 years
male: 78.4 years
female: 83.1 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.78 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.44 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
0.15% (2013 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Dutchman(men), Dutchwoman(women)
adjective: Dutch
noun: German(s)
adjective: German
Ethnic groupsDutch 78.6%, EU 5.8%, Turkish 2.4%, Indonesian 2.2%, Moroccan 2.2%, Surinamese 2.1%, Bonairian, Saba Islander, Sint Eustatian 0.8%, other 5.9% (2014 est.)
German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Polish, Italian, Romanian, Syrian, and Greek)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
77,500 (2013 est.)
ReligionsRoman Catholic 28%, Protestant 19% (includes Dutch Reformed 9%, Protestant Church of The Netherlands, 7%, Calvinist 3%), other 11% (includes about 5% Muslim and fewer numbers of Hindu, Buddhist, Jehovah's Witness, and Orthodox), none 42% (2009 est.)
Roman Catholic 29%, Protestant 27%, Muslim 4.4%, Orthodox Christian 1.9%, other 1.7%, none or members of unrecorded religious groups 36% (2015 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
400 (2013 est.)
LanguagesDutch (official)
note: Frisian is an official language in Fryslan province; Frisian, Low Saxon, Limburgish, Romani, and Yiddish have protected status under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages; Dutch is the official language of the three special municipalities of the Caribbean Netherlands, while English is a recognized regional language on Sint Eustatius and Saba and Papiamento is a recognized regional language on Bonaire
German (official)
note: Danish, Frisian, Sorbian, and Romani are official minority languages; Low German, Danish, North Frisian, Sater Frisian, Lower Sorbian, Upper Sorbian, and Romani are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 18 years
male: 18 years
female: 18 years (2012)
total: 17 years
male: 17 years
female: 17 years (2015)
Education expenditures5.6% of GDP (2013)
4.9% of GDP (2013)
Urbanizationurban population: 90.5% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.05% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 75.3% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 0.16% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 97.5% of population
rural: 99.9% of population
total: 97.7% of population
unimproved:
urban: 2.5% of population
rural: 0.1% of population
total: 2.3% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 99.3% of population
rural: 99% of population
total: 99.2% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0.7% of population
rural: 1% of population
total: 0.8% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationAMSTERDAM (capital) 1.091 million; Rotterdam 993,000; The Hague (seat of government) 650,000 (2015)
BERLIN (capital) 3.563 million; Hamburg 1.831 million; Munich 1.438 million; Cologne 1.037 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate7 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
6 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures10.9% of GDP (2014)
11.3% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density3.35 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
4.13 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density4.7 beds/1,000 population (2009)
8.2 beds/1,000 population (2011)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate21.9% (2014)
22.7% (2014)
Mother's mean age at first birth29.4 years (2011 est.)
29.2 years (2012 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 53.3
youth dependency ratio: 25.3
elderly dependency ratio: 27.9
potential support ratio: 3.6 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 51.8
youth dependency ratio: 19.6
elderly dependency ratio: 32.2
potential support ratio: 3.1 (2015 est.)

Government

NetherlandsGermany
Country name"conventional long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands
conventional short form: Netherlands
local long form: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
local short form: Nederland
etymology: the country name literally means ""the lowlands"" and refers to the geographic features of the land being both flat and down river from higher areas (i.e., at the estuaries of the Scheldt, Meuse, and Rhine Rivers; only about half of the Netherlands is more than 1 meter above sea level)
"
"conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany
conventional short form: Germany
local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland
local short form: Deutschland
former: German Empire, German Republic, German Reich
etymology: the Gauls (Celts) of Western Europe may have referred to the newly arriving Germanic tribes who settled in neighboring areas east of the Rhine during the first centuries B.C. as ""Germani,"" a term the Romans adopted as ""Germania""; the native designation ""Deutsch"" comes from the Old High German ""diutisc"" meaning ""of the people""
"
Government typeparliamentary constitutional monarchy; part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
federal parliamentary republic
Capitalname: Amsterdam; note - The Hague is the seat of government
geographic coordinates: 52 21 N, 4 55 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
note: time descriptions apply to the continental Netherlands only, not to the Caribbean components
name: Berlin
geographic coordinates: 52 31 N, 13 24 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions12 provinces (provincies, singular - provincie); Drenthe, Flevoland, Fryslan (Friesland), Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant (North Brabant), Noord-Holland (North Holland), Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland (Zealand), Zuid-Holland (South Holland)
note 1: the Netherlands is one of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the other three, Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten, are all islands in the Caribbean; while all four parts are considered equal partners, in practice, most of the Kingdom's affairs are administered by the Netherlands, which makes up about 98% of the Kingdom's total land area and population
note 2: three other Caribbean islands, Bonaire, Saint Eustatius, and Saba, are considered to be special municipalities of the Netherlands proper
16 states (Laender, singular - Land); Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bayern (Bavaria), Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen (Hesse), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania), Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia), Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), Saarland, Sachsen (Saxony), Sachsen-Anhalt (Saxony-Anhalt), Schleswig-Holstein, Thueringen (Thuringia); note - Bayern, Sachsen, and Thueringen refer to themselves as free states (Freistaaten, singular - Freistaat), while Hamburg prides itself on being a Free and Hanseatic City (Freie und Hansestadt)
Independence23 January 1579 (the northern provinces of the Low Countries conclude the Union of Utrecht breaking with Spain; on 26 July 1581 they formally declared their independence with an Act of Abjuration; however, it was not until 30 January 1648 and the Peace of Westphalia that Spain recognized this independence)
18 January 1871 (establishment of the German Empire); divided into four zones of occupation (UK, US, USSR, and France) in 1945 following World War II; Federal Republic of Germany (FRG or West Germany) proclaimed on 23 May 1949 and included the former UK, US, and French zones; German Democratic Republic (GDR or East Germany) proclaimed on 7 October 1949 and included the former USSR zone; West Germany and East Germany unified on 3 October 1990; all four powers formally relinquished rights on 15 March 1991; notable earlier dates: 10 August 843 (Eastern Francia established from the division of the Carolingian Empire); 2 February 962 (crowning of OTTO I, recognized as the first Holy Roman Emperor)
National holidayKing's Day (birthday of King WILLEM-ALEXANDER), 27 April (1967); note - King's or Queen's Day are observed on the ruling monarch's birthday; celebrated on 26 April if 27 April is a Sunday
Unity Day, 3 October (1990)
Constitutionhistory: previous 1597, 1798; latest adopted 24 August 1815 (substantially revised in 1848)
amendments: proposed as an “Act of Parliament” by or on behalf of the king or by the Second Chamber of the States General; the Second Chamber is dissolved after its first reading of the “Act”; passage requires a second reading by both the First Chamber and newly elected Second Chamber, followed by at least two-thirds majority vote of both chambers, and ratification by the king; amended many times, last in 2010 (2016)
history: previous 1919 (Weimar Constitution); latest drafted 10 to 23 August 1948, approved 12 May 1949, promulgated 23 May 1949, entered into force 24 May 1949
amendments: proposed by Parliament; passage and enactment into law require two-thirds majority vote by both the Bundesrat (upper house) and the Bundestag (lower house) of Parliament; articles including those on basic human rights and freedoms cannot be amended; amended many times, last in 2012 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system based on the French system; constitution does not permit judicial review of acts of the States General
civil law system
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: King WILLEM-ALEXANDER (since 30 April 2013); Heir Apparent Princess Catharina-Amalia (since 30 April 2013)
head of government: Prime Minister Mark RUTTE (since 14 October 2010); Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk ASSCHER (since 5 November 2012); note - Mark RUTTE heads his second cabinet since 5 November 2012
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch; note - following general elections on 15 March 2017, the cabinet has caretaker status until a new cabinet has been formed
elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; following Second Chamber elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; deputy prime ministers appointed by the monarch
chief of state: Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (since 19 March 2017; inaugurated 22 March 2017)
head of government: Chancellor Angela MERKEL (since 22 November 2005)
cabinet: Cabinet or Bundesminister (Federal Ministers) recommended by the chancellor, appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president indirectly elected for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term) by a Federal Convention consisting of the 630-member Federal Parliament (Bundestag) and 630 delegates indirectly elected by the state parliaments; election last held on 12 February 2017 (next to be held February 2022); chancellor indirectly elected by absolute majority by the Federal Parliament for a 4-year term; Federal Parliament vote for chancellor last held on 17 December 2013 (next to be held following the general election, 24 September 2017)
election results: Frank-Walter STEINMEIER elected president; Federal Convention vote count - Frank-Walter STEINMEIER (SPD) 931, Christopher BUTTERWEGGE (Left Party) 128, Albrecht GLASER (Alternative for Germany AfD) 42, Alexander HOLD (Free Voters FW) 25, Engelbert SONNEBORN (Pirates Party) 10; Angela MERKEL (CDU) reelected chancellor; Federal Parliament vote - 462 for, 150 against, 49 abstentions
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral States General or Staten Generaal consists of the First Chamber or Eerste Kamer (75 seats; members indirectly elected by the country's 12 provincial council members by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms) and the Second Chamber or Tweede Kamer (150 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve up to 4-year terms)
elections: First Chamber - last held on 26 May 2015 (next to be held in May 2019); Second Chamber - last held on 15 March 2017 (next to be held 15 March 2021)
election results: First Chamber - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - VVD 13, CDA 12, D66 10, PVV 9, SP 9, PvdA 8, GL 4, CU 3, other 7; Second Chamber - percent of vote by party - VVD 22.0%, PVV 13.3%, CDA 12.6%, D66 12.6%, GL 9.3%, SP 9.3%, PvdA 6.0%, CU 3.3%, PvdD 3.3%, 50 Plus 2.7%, other 5.6%; seats by party - VVD 33, PVV 20, CDA 19, D66 19, GL 14, SP 14, PvdA 9, CU 5, PvdD 5, 50 Plus 4, other 8
description: bicameral Parliament or Parlament consists of the Federal Council or Bundesrat (69 seats; members appointed by each of the 16 state governments) and the Federal Diet or Bundestag (631 seats - total seats can vary each electoral term; approximately one-half of members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and approximately one-half directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: Bundestag - last held on 22 September 2013 (next to be held 24 September 2017); most all postwar German governments have been coalitions; note - there are no elections for the Bundesrat; composition is determined by the composition of the state-level governments; the composition of the Bundesrat has the potential to change any time one of the 16 states holds an election
election results: Bundestag - percent of vote by party - CDU/CSU 41.5%, SPD 25.7%, Left 8.6%, Greens 8.4%, FDP 4.8%, other 10.9%; seats by party - CDU/CSU 311, SPD 193, Left 64, Greens 63
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Hoge Raad (consists of 41 judges: the president, 6 vice-presidents, 31 justices or raadsheren, and 3 justices in exceptional service, referred to as buitengewone dienst); the court is divided into criminal, civil, tax, and ombuds chambers
judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the monarch from a list provided by the Second Chamber of the States General; justices appointed for life or until mandatory retirement at age 70
subordinate courts: courts of appeal; district courts, each with up to 5 subdistrict courts
highest court(s): Federal Court of Justice (court consists of 127 judges including the court president, vice-presidents, presiding judges, and other judges, and organized into 25 Senates subdivided into 12 civil panels, 5 criminal panels, and 8 special panels; Federal Constitutional Court or Bundesverfassungsgericht (consists of 2 Senates each subdivided into 3 chambers, each with a chairman and 8 members)
judge selection and term of office: Federal Court of Justice judges selected by the Judges Election Committee, which consists of the Secretaries of Justice from each of the 16 federated States and 16 members appointed by the Federal Parliament; judges appointed by the president of Germany; judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 65; Federal Constitutional Court judges - one-half elected by the House of Representatives and one-half by the Senate; judges appointed for 12-year terms with mandatory retirement at age 68
subordinate courts: Federal Administrative Court; Federal Finance Court; Federal Labor Court; Federal Social Court; each of the 16 German states or Land has its own constitutional court and a hierarchy of ordinary (civil, criminal, family) and specialized (administrative, finance, labor, social) courts
Political parties and leadersChristian Democratic Appeal or CDA [Sybrand VAN HAERSMA BUMA]
Christian Union or CU [Gert-Jan SEGERS]
Democrats 66 or D66 [Alexander PECHTOLD]
Denk [Tunahan KUZU]
50 Plus [Henk KROL]
For the Netherlands or VNL [Jan ROOS]
Forum for Democracy or FvD [Thierry BAUDET]
Green Left or GL [Jesse KLAVER]
Labor Party or PvdA [Lodewik ASSCHER]
Party for Freedom or PVV [Geert WILDERS]
Party for the Animals or PvdD [Marianne THIEME]
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy or VVD [Mark RUTTE]
Reformed Political Party or SGP [Kees VAN DER STAAIJ]
Socialist Party or SP [Emile ROEMER]
plus a few minor parties
Alliance '90/Greens [Cem OEZDEMIR and Simone PETER]
Alternative for Germany or AfD [Frauke PETRY and Joerg MEUTHEN]
Christian Democratic Union or CDU [Angela MERKEL]
Christian Social Union or CSU [Horst SEEHOFER]
Free Democratic Party or FDP [Christian LINDNER]
Left Party or Die Linke [Katja KIPPING and Bernd RIEXINGER]
Social Democratic Party or SPD [Martin SCHULZ]
Political pressure groups and leadersChristian Trade Union Federation or CNV [Maurice LIMMEN]
Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers or VNO-NCW [Hans DE BOER]
Federation for Small and Medium-sized Businesses or MKB [Michael VAN STRAALEN]
Netherlands Trade Union Federation or FNV [Han BUSKER]
Social Economic Council or SER [Mariette HAMER]
Trade Union Professionals or VDP [Nic VAN HOLSTEIN]
other: business associations and employers' organizations
trade unions; religious, immigrant, expellee, and veterans groups
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CBSS (observer), CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINUSMA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS, CD, CDB, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-5, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMISS, UNRWA, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Hendrik SCHUWER (since 17 September 2015)
chancery: 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 244-5300, [1] 877-388-2443
FAX: [1] (202) 362-3430
consulate(s) general: Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco
chief of mission: Ambassador Hans Peter WITTIG (since 21 May 2014)
chancery: 4645 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007
telephone: [1] (202) 298-4000
FAX: [1] (202) 298-4249
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Shawn CROWLEY (since July 2016)
embassy: Lange Voorhout 102, 2514 EJ, The Hague
mailing address: PSC 71, Box 1000, APO AE 09715
telephone: [31] (70) 310-2209
FAX: [31] (70) 310-2207
consulate(s) general: Amsterdam
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Kent LOGSDON (since 20 January 2017)
embassy: Pariser Platz 2
mailing address: Clayallee 170, 14191 Berlin
telephone: [49] (30) 8305-0
FAX: [49] (30) 8305-1215
consulate(s) general: Duesseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Leipzig, Munich
Flag descriptionthree equal horizontal bands of red (bright vermilion; top), white, and blue (cobalt); similar to the flag of Luxembourg, which uses a lighter blue and is longer; the colors were derived from those of WILLIAM I, Prince of Orange, who led the Dutch Revolt against Spanish sovereignty in the latter half of the 16th century; originally the upper band was orange, but because its dye tended to turn red over time, the red shade was eventually made the permanent color; the banner is perhaps the oldest tricolor in continuous use
three equal horizontal bands of black (top), red, and gold; these colors have played an important role in German history and can be traced back to the medieval banner of the Holy Roman Emperor - a black eagle with red claws and beak on a gold field
National anthem"name: ""Het Wilhelmus"" (The William)
lyrics/music: Philips VAN MARNIX van Sint Aldegonde (presumed)/unknown
note: adopted 1932, in use since the 17th century, making it the oldest national anthem in the world; also known as ""Wilhelmus van Nassouwe"" (William of Nassau), it is in the form of an acrostic, where the first letter of each stanza spells the name of the leader of the Dutch Revolt
"
"name: ""Das Lied der Deutschen"" (Song of the Germans)
lyrics/music: August Heinrich HOFFMANN VON FALLERSLEBEN/Franz Joseph HAYDN
note: adopted 1922; the anthem, also known as ""Deutschlandlied"" (Song of Germany), was originally adopted for its connection to the March 1848 liberal revolution; following appropriation by the Nazis of the first verse, specifically the phrase, ""Deutschland, Deutschland ueber alles"" (Germany, Germany above all) to promote nationalism, it was banned after 1945; in 1952, its third verse was adopted by West Germany as its national anthem; in 1990, it became the national anthem for the reunited Germany
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)lion, tulip; national color: orange
golden eagle; national colors: black, red, yellow
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Netherlands
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a German citizen or a resident alien who has lived in Germany at least 8 years
dual citizenship recognized: yes, but requires prior permission from government
residency requirement for naturalization: 8 years

Economy

NetherlandsGermany
Economy - overviewThe Netherlands, the sixth-largest economy in the European Union, plays an important role as a European transportation hub, with a persistently high trade surplus, stable industrial relations, and low unemployment. Industry focuses on 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 food-processing and underpins the country’s status as the world’s second largest agricultural exporter.

The Netherlands is part of the euro zone, and as such, its monetary policy is controlled by the European Central Bank. The Dutch financial sector is highly concentrated, with four commercial banks possessing over 80% of banking assets, and is four times the size of Dutch GDP.

In 2008, during the financial crisis, the government budget deficit hit 5.3% of GDP. Following a protracted recession from 2009 to 2013, during which unemployment doubled to 7.4% and household consumption contracted for four consecutive years, economic growth began inching forward in 2014. Since 2010, Prime Minister Mark RUTTE’s government has implemented significant austerity measures to improve public finances and has instituted broad structural reforms in key policy areas, including the labor market, the housing sector, the energy market, and the pension system. In 2016, the government budget returned to a surplus of 0.3% of GDP, with economic growth of 2.1%, and GDP per capita finally surpassed pre-crisis levels. The Dutch government projects steady but modest economic growth of 2.1% in 2017 and unemployment decreasing to 4.9%.
The German economy - the fifth largest economy in the world in PPP terms and Europe's largest - is a leading exporter of machinery, vehicles, chemicals, and household equipment and benefits from a highly skilled labor force. Like its Western European neighbors, Germany faces significant demographic challenges to sustained long-term growth. Low fertility rates and a large increase in net immigration are increasing pressure on the country's social welfare system and necessitate structural reforms.

Reforms launched by the government of Chancellor Gerhard SCHROEDER (1998-2005), deemed necessary to address chronically high unemployment and low average growth, contributed to strong growth and falling unemployment. These advances, as well as a government subsidized, reduced working hour scheme, help explain the relatively modest increase in unemployment during the 2008-09 recession - the deepest since World War II. The German Government introduced a minimum wage in 2015 that increased to $9.79 (8.84 euros) on 1 January 2017.

Stimulus and stabilization efforts initiated in 2008 and 2009 and tax cuts introduced in Chancellor Angela MERKEL's second term increased Germany's total budget deficit - including federal, state, and municipal - to 4.1% in 2010, but slower spending and higher tax revenues reduced the deficit to 0.8% in 2011 and in 2016 Germany reached a budget surplus of 0.6%. A constitutional amendment approved in 2009 limits the federal government to structural deficits of no more than 0.35% of GDP per annum as of 2016, though the target was already reached in 2012.

The German economy suffers from low levels of investment, and a government plan to invest 15 billion euros during 2016-18, largely in infrastructure, is intended to spur needed private investment. Following the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Chancellor Angela MERKEL announced in May 2011 that eight of the country's 17 nuclear reactors would be shut down immediately and the remaining plants would close by 2022. Germany plans to replace nuclear power largely with renewable energy, which accounted for 29.5% of gross electricity consumption in 2016, up from 9% in 2000. Before the shutdown of the eight reactors, Germany relied on nuclear power for 23% of its electricity generating capacity and 46% of its base-load electricity production. Domestic consumption, bolstered by low energy prices and a weak euro, and exports are likely to drive German GDP growth again in 2017.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$870.8 billion (2016 est.)
$852.9 billion (2015 est.)
$836.2 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$3.979 trillion (2016 est.)
$3.911 trillion (2015 est.)
$3.854 trillion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate2.1% (2016 est.)
2% (2015 est.)
1.4% (2014 est.)
1.7% (2016 est.)
1.5% (2015 est.)
1.6% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$50,800 (2016 est.)
$50,300 (2015 est.)
$49,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$48,200 (2016 est.)
$47,600 (2015 est.)
$47,500 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 1.6%
industry: 17.8%
services: 70.4% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 0.6%
industry: 30.3%
services: 69.1%
(2016 est.)
Population below poverty line8.8% (2015 est.)
16.7% (2015 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 24.9% (2014 est.)
lowest 10%: 3.6%
highest 10%: 24% (2000)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)0.3% (2016 est.)
0.6% (2015 est.)
0.5% (2016 est.)
0.3% (2015 est.)
Labor force8.942 million (2016 est.)
45.3 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 1.2%
industry: 17.2%
services: 81.6% (2015 est.)
agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 24.2%
services: 74.3%
(2016)
Unemployment rate6% (2016 est.)
6.9% (2015 est.)
4.3% (2016 est.)
4.6% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index30.3 (2015 est.)
25.1 (2013 est.)
27 (2006)
30 (1994)
Budgetrevenues: $340.8 billion
expenditures: $337.6 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $1.523 trillion
expenditures: $1.497 trillion (2016 est.)
Industriesagroindustries, metal and engineering products, electrical machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing
among the world's largest and most technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, machine tools, electronics, automobiles, food and beverages, shipbuilding, textiles
Industrial production growth rate2.6% (2016 est.)
1.5% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productsvegetables, ornamentals, dairy, poultry and livestock products; propagation materials
potatoes, wheat, barley, sugar beets, fruit, cabbages; milk products; cattle, pigs, poultry
Exports$480.1 billion (2016 est.)
$474.3 billion (2015 est.)
$1.283 trillion (2016 est.)
$1.309 trillion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesmachinery and transport equipment, chemicals, mineral fuels; food and livestock, manufactured goods
motor vehicles, machinery, chemicals, computer and electronic products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, metals, transport equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, rubber and plastic products
Exports - partnersGermany 24.5%, Belgium 11.1%, UK 9.3%, France 8.4%, Italy 4.2% (2015)
US 9.6%, France 8.6%, UK 7.5%, Netherlands 6.6%, China 6%, Italy 4.9%, Austria 4.8%, Poland 4.4%, Switzerland 4.2% (2015)
Imports$422.3 billion (2016 est.)
$425.4 billion (2015 est.)
$987.6 billion (2016 est.)
$1.017 trillion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and transport equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs, clothing
machinery, data processing equipment, vehicles, chemicals, oil and gas, metals, electric equipment, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, agricultural products
Imports - partnersGermany 14.7%, China 14.5%, Belgium 8.2%, US 8.1%, UK 5.1% (2015)
Netherlands 13.7%, France 7.6%, China 7.3%, Belgium 6%, Italy 5.2%, Poland 5%, US 4.7%, Czech Republic 4.5%, UK 4.2%, Austria 4.2%, Switzerland 4.2% (2015)
Debt - external$4.063 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.054 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$5.326 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
$5.21 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
Exchange rateseuros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.78 (2012 est.)
euros (EUR) per US dollar -
0.9214 (2016 est.)
0.885 (2015 est.)
0.885 (2014 est.)
0.7634 (2013 est.)
0.7752 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt61.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
65.1% of GDP (2015 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
68.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
71.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: general government gross debt is defined in the Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year in the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4); the general government sector comprises the sub-sectors of central government, state government, local government and social security funds; the series are presented as a percentage of GDP and in millions of euro; GDP used as a denominator is the gross domestic product at current market prices; data expressed in national currency are converted into euro using end-of-year exchange rates provided by the European Central Bank
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$39.03 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$35.39 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$173.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$173.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance$74.3 billion (2016 est.)
$65.13 billion (2015 est.)
$294.3 billion (2016 est.)
$280.3 billion (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$773.9 billion (2016 est.)
$3.495 trillion
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$844 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$739.9 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.416 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.36 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.207 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.102 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$2.08 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.972 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$652.7 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$735.1 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$675 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$1.716 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.739 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.936 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Central bank discount rate0% (31 December 2016)
0.05% (31 December 2015)
note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area
0.25% (31 December 2016)
0.3% (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 rate2.59% (31 December 2016 est.)
2.93% (31 December 2015 est.)
1.7% (31 December 2016 est.)
1.84% (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$1.455 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.425 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.327 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.452 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$498.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$475.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 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
$2.049 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.923 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 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$1.119 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$1.158 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.347 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)
$4.451 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues44% of GDP (2016 est.)
43.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)0.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
0.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 10.5%
male: 9.7%
female: 11.3% (2014 est.)
total: 7.7%
male: 8.3%
female: 7.1% (2014 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 44.4%
government consumption: 24.9%
investment in fixed capital: 20.3%
investment in inventories: -0.2%
exports of goods and services: 81.6%
imports of goods and services: -71% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 53.7%
government consumption: 19.5%
investment in fixed capital: 20.1%
investment in inventories: -1%
exports of goods and services: 45.7%
imports of goods and services: -38% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving28.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
30.1% of GDP (2015 est.)
29.3% of GDP (2014 est.)
27.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
27.7% of GDP (2015 est.)
27% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

NetherlandsGermany
Electricity - production114.7 billion kWh (2016 est.)
646.9 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - consumption119.6 billion kWh (2016 est.)
530.6 billion kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - exports19.34 billion kWh (2016 est.)
82 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - imports24.26 billion kWh (2016 est.)
26.6 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production28,530 bbl/day (2015 est.)
48,060 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports1.884 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
1.844 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports862,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
6,569 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves144.7 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
100 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves940 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
47.4 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production47.46 billion cu m
note: the Netherlands has curbed gas production due to seismic activity in the province of Groningen, largest source of gas reserves (2016 est.)
9.469 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption39.96 billion cu m (2016 est.)
79.21 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports53.65 billion cu m (2016 est.)
22.27 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - imports39.57 billion cu m (2016 est.)
89.89 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity32 million kW (2014 est.)
204 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels81.3% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
43.2% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants0.1% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
5.1% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels3.7% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
6.3% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources12.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
41.6% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production1.553 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
2.175 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption868,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
2.372 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports2.148 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
462,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports1.83 million bbl/day (2015 est.)
785,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy184.8 million Mt (2015 est.)
744 million Mt (2015 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

NetherlandsGermany
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 6,951,528
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 41 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 45.352 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 56 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 20.809 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 123 (July 2015 est.)
total: 96.36 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 119 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: highly developed and well maintained
domestic: extensive fixed-line, fiber-optic network; large cellular telephone system with 5 major operators utilizing the third generation of the Global System for Mobile Communications technology; one in five households now use Voice over the Internet Protocol services
international: country code - 31; submarine cables provide links to the US and Europe; satellite earth stations - 5 (3 Intelsat - 1 Indian Ocean and 2 Atlantic Ocean, 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat (2011)
general assessment: one of the world's most technologically advanced telecommunications systems; as a result of intensive capital expenditures since reunification, the formerly backward system of the eastern part of the country, dating back to World War II, has been modernized and integrated with that of the western part
domestic: extensive system of automatic telephone exchanges connected by modern networks of fiber-optic cable, coaxial cable, microwave radio relay, and a domestic satellite system; cellular telephone service is widely available, expanding rapidly, and includes roaming service to many foreign countries
international: country code - 49; Germany's international service is excellent worldwide, consisting of extensive land and undersea cable facilities as well as earth stations in the Inmarsat, Intelsat, Eutelsat, and Intersputnik satellite systems (2015)
Internet country code.nl
.de
Internet userstotal: 15.778 million
percent of population: 93.1% (July 2015 est.)
total: 70.82 million
percent of population: 87.6% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediamore than 90% of households are connected to cable or satellite TV systems that provide a wide range of domestic and foreign channels; public service broadcast system includes multiple broadcasters, 3 with a national reach and the remainder operating in regional and local markets; 2 major nationwide commercial television companies, each with 3 or more stations, and many commercial TV stations in regional and local markets; nearly 600 radio stations with a mix of public and private stations providing national or regional coverage (2008)
a mixture of publicly operated and privately owned TV and radio stations; national and regional public broadcasters compete with nearly 400 privately owned national and regional TV stations; more than 90% of households have cable or satellite TV; hundreds of radio stations including multiple national radio networks, regional radio networks, and a large number of local radio stations (2008)

Transportation

NetherlandsGermany
Railwaystotal: 3,058 km
standard gauge: 3,058 km 1.435-m gauge (2,314 km electrified) (2016)
total: 43,468.3 km
standard gauge: 43,209.3 km 1.435-m gauge (19,973 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 220 km 1.000-m gauge (79 km electrified); 15 km 0.900-m gauge; 24 km 0.750-m gauge (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 139,124 km (includes 3,654 km of expressways) (2016)
total: 645,000 km
paved: 645,000 km (includes 12,800 km of expressways)
note: includes local roads (2010)
Waterways6,237 km (navigable by ships up to 50 tons) (2012)
7,467 km (Rhine River carries most goods; Main-Danube Canal links North Sea and Black Sea) (2012)
Pipelinesgas 14,000 km; oil and refined products 2,500 km; chemicals 3,000 km (2016)
condensate 37 km; gas 26,985 km; oil 2,826 km; refined products 4,479 km; water 8 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): IJmuiden, Vlissingen
river port(s): Amsterdam (Nordsee Kanaal); Moerdijk (Hollands Diep River); Rotterdam (Rhine River); Terneuzen (Western Scheldt River)
container port(s) (TEUs): Rotterdam (12,235,000) (2015)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Rotterdam
major seaport(s): Baltic Sea - Rostock; North Sea - Wilhelmshaven
river port(s): Bremen (Weser); Bremerhaven (Geeste); Duisburg, Karlsruhe, Neuss-Dusseldorf (Rhine); Brunsbuttel, Hamburg (Elbe); Lubeck (Wakenitz)
oil terminal(s): Brunsbuttel Canal terminals
container port(s): Bremen/Bremerhaven (5,480,000), Hamburg (8,821,000) (2015)
LNG terminal(s) (import): Hamburg
Merchant marinetotal: 744
by type: bulk carrier 4, cargo 514, carrier 15, chemical tanker 56, container 67, liquefied gas 21, passenger 17, passenger/cargo 14, petroleum tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 10, roll on/roll off 19, specialized tanker 3
foreign-owned: 196 (Australia 1, Bermuda 1, Denmark 27, Finland 13, France 2, Germany 86, Ireland 8, Italy 6, Japan 1, Norway 19, Sweden 12, UAE 4, US 16)
registered in other countries: 233 (Antigua and Barbuda 17, Bahamas 23, Belize 1, Canada 1, Curacao 43, Cyprus 23, Germany 1, Gibraltar 34, Italy 2, Liberia 31, Luxembourg 3, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 21, Panama 6, Paraguay 1, Philippines 17, Russia 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1, Singapore 1, UK 1, unknown 1) (2010)
total: 427
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 6, cargo 51, carrier 1, chemical tanker 15, container 298, liquefied gas 6, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 24, petroleum tanker 10, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 6, vehicle carrier 1
foreign-owned: 6 (Finland 3, Netherlands 1, Switzerland 2)
registered in other countries: 3,420 (Antigua and Barbuda 1094, Australia 2, Bahamas 30, Bermuda 14, Brazil 6, Bulgaria 12, Burma 1, Cayman Islands 3, Cook Islands 1, Curacao 25, Cyprus 192, Denmark 9, Dominica 5, Estonia 1, France 1, Gibraltar 123, Hong Kong 10, Isle of Man 56, Jamaica 10, Liberia 1185, Luxembourg 9, Malta 135, Marshall Islands 248, Morocco 1, Netherlands 86, NZ 2, Panama 24, Papua New Guinea 1, Philippines 2, Portugal 14, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 3, Singapore 32, Slovakia 3, Spain 4, Sri Lanka 8, Sweden 3, UK 59, US 5, Venezuela 1) (2010)
Airports29 (2013)
539 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 23
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 6
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
total: 318
over 3,047 m: 14
2,438 to 3,047 m: 49
1,524 to 2,437 m: 60
914 to 1,523 m: 70
under 914 m: 125 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 6
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
total: 221
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 35
under 914 m: 185 (2013)
Heliports1 (2013)
23 (2013)

Military

NetherlandsGermany
Military branchesRoyal Netherlands Army, Royal Netherlands Navy (includes Naval Air Service and Marine Corps), Royal Netherlands Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht, KLu), Royal Marechaussee (Military Police) (2015)
Federal Armed Forces (Bundeswehr): Army (Heer), Navy (Deutsche Marine, includes naval air arm), Air Force (Luftwaffe), Joint Support Service (Streitkraeftebasis, SKB), Central Medical Service (Zentraler Sanitaetsdienst, ZSanDstBw), Cyber and Information Space Command (Kommando Cyber- und Informationsraum, Kdo CIR) (2017)
Military service age and obligation17 years of age for an all-volunteer force (2014)
17-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription ended 1 July 2011; service obligation 8-23 months or 12 years; women have been eligible for voluntary service in all military branches and positions since 2001 (2013)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP1.17% of GDP (2017)
1.17% of GDP (2016)
1.16% of GDP (2015)
1.15% of GDP (2014)
1.16% of GDP (2013)
1.19% of GDP (2016 est.)
1.19% of GDP (2015)
1.19% of GDP (2014)
1.23% of GDP (2013)
1.31% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

NetherlandsGermany
Disputes - internationalnone
none
Illicit drugsmajor European producer of synthetic drugs, including ecstasy, and cannabis cultivator; important gateway for cocaine, heroin, and hashish entering Europe; major source of US-bound ecstasy and a significant consumer of ecstasy; a large financial sector vulnerable to money laundering
source of precursor chemicals for South American cocaine processors; transshipment point for and consumer of Southwest Asian heroin, Latin American cocaine, and European-produced synthetic drugs; major financial center
Refugees and internally displaced personsrefugees (country of origin): 28,394 (Syria); 16,512 (Somalia); 13,488 (Eritrea); 12,740 (Iraq); 5,791 (Afghanistan) (2016)
stateless persons: 1,951 (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 375,122 (Syria); 86,045 (Iraq); 46,292 (Afghanistan); 30,020 (Eritrea); 22,910 (Iran); 19,136 (Turkey); 9,189 (Serbia and Kosovo); 7,879 (Somalia); 5,255 (Russia); 5,169 (Pakistan) (2016)
stateless persons: 12,017 (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook