If you intend to move to the Netherlands, here is what you need to know on the country's economic, political and social situation.
Stretching over some 41,500 km², the Netherlands is a very popular country in terms of expatriation. It has been attracting foreigners worldwide due to the numerous professional offers which are available there. In fact, the country has a developing economy, as well as a stable political situation. Amsterdam is the Netherlands' capital city while The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht and Maastricht are its major cities. These are also very famous expat destinations due to their rich cultural and historical heritage, attracting thousands of tourists every year.
As at 1st February 2014, the Netherlands' population stood at 16,838,400 inhabitants. Literacy rate stood at 99%, which is a non-negligible given that the country is deemed to be Europe's fifth economic power. The country also hosts a large number of foreigners who have come from neighboring countries such as Germany, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom etc., as well as tourists from the rest of the world. Hence, its cultural diversity which is described by different types of places of worship, cuisines, languages, events, etc.
The Netherlands' official language is Dutch, but many other languages such as English, German and French are also spoken by expatriates and taught at school.
The Netherlands greatly encourages entrepreneurship since the global economic crisis effects started to fade away. In fact, the country offers various professional and investment opportunities to the Dutch as well as to foreigners. Its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per-capita is one-third higher than the average of 27 European Union countries. For instance, its GDP amounted to some € 603.1 billion in 2013.
The Dutch economy mainly relies on the services sectors, that is transports, distribution, logistics, the banking and insurance sectors, engineering, water technologies, etc. But other sectors such as industrial activities, including food process, petrochemicals, metallurgy, transport equipment manufacturing, among others, also contribute to the country's GDP significantly. Note that the Netherlands is one of Europe's and the world' biggest oil and natural gas producers and distributors.
Finally, agriculture accounts for only 2% of the national GDP. Agricultural products are exporter to foreign countries such as the United States of America. The Netherlands also hosts many international companies which not only stimulates its economy but also provide jobs to Dutch citizens as well as to foreign nationals.
The Netherlands are known to be a hereditary constitutional monarchy since 1815. Its constitution has been adopted the same year. The King Willem-Alexander is the head of the State since 2013. His successor should be the Princess Catharina-Amalia, his elder daughter.
As regards the executive power, it is held by the government with a Minister-President at its head. Mark Rutte is the actual Minister President of the Netherlands.
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The Netherlands is also a founding member of the European Union, of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and member of many other international organizations such as the International Court of Justice, the Europol, the International Criminal Court and the Permanent Arbitration Court.
The country has a temperate and rainy climate. In fact, temperatures can be quite high in summer and very low in winter. Moreover, Southern Netherlands temperatures are warmer than in the North. These tend to be drier in March.
In general, the highest temperatures are recorded in June and July, with an average peak heat of 28ºC. The lowest temperatures, on the other hand, occur between December and February, just below 0ºC.