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|16,819,595 Netherland People +98%|
None 40%, Catholics 22%, Protestants 17%, other 1%
|CET / AST (UTC+1 / −4)|
The Netherlands is a country in Europe. It has 16,819,595 inhabitants, and is one of the most densely populated countries in Europe.
The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam, but the government (including the king) resides in The Hague. The current king of the Netherlands is Willem-Alexander. On 30 April 2013 he succeeded his mother Beatrix. The Netherlands is one of the six founding members of the European Union, and the country uses the euro since 2002, when it replaced the Dutch guilder.
In the west the nation borders the North Sea. Further north is the Wadden Sea. The Wadden Sea is a part of the North Sea that dries up during low tide. It's a home for seals and various kinds of birds. Because of the unique environment, UNESCO recognized the tidal sea as world heritage. Some parts of the Wadden Sea also stay dry during high tide. These islands are called Waddeneilanden. A few of them are inhabited, they are Texel, Vlieland, Terschelling, Ameland, Schiermonnikoog.
The Netherlands is home to the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta and because of that, there are lots of islands and streams. Large parts of the country consist of polders. A polder is a former lake, sea or swamp turned into land. About 27% of the country consists of polders and thus is man-made.
The Netherlands is divided into 12 provinces (Provincies). Each province has a commissioner of the King (Commissaris van de Koning). The 12 provinces are:
- Drenthe, with its capital at Assen.
- Flevoland, with its capital at Lelystad.
- Friesland, with its capital at Leeuwarden.
- Gelderland, with its capital at Arnhem.
- Groningen, with its capital at Groningen.
- Limburg, with its capital at Maastricht.
- North Brabant, with its capital at 's-Hertogenbosch.
- North Holland, with its capital at Haarlem.
- Overijssel, with its capital at Zwolle.
- Utrecht, with its capital at Utrecht.
- Zeeland, with its capital at Middelburg.
- South Holland, with its capital at The Hague.
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