Located between 50°80′ and 52°30′ north latitude; 3°20′ and 7°10′ East. They are washed from the north and west by the waters of the North Sea. The length of the coastline is 451 km. They border on Belgium in the south and Germany in the east. The territory of the Netherlands includes the West Frisian Islands. Almost the entire territory of the Netherlands is a low-lying plain; The very word “Netherlands” means “low lands”. 2/3 of the territory is located at an altitude of up to 1 m above sea level; 1/3 is below this level (the lowest point is the Zuid Plaspolder – by 7 m) and only 2% of the territory is above 50 m (the highest point is Faalsberg – 322.5 m). There is a constant threat of flooding of low-lying areas during surges of the North Sea during storms. As a result of a catastrophic flood in 1282, the Zuider Zee was formed. Forests cover 7.6% of the country’s territory, mostly in the form of groves. Presented oak, beech, hornbeam, ash. The mouths of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt converging on the territory of the Netherlands form a vast common navigable delta. After the construction of a dam on the Zuider Zee, its southern part turned into a freshwater lake IJsselmeer, most of which is drained into fertile land – polders. In the forests there are squirrel, hare, marten, polecat, roe deer. Approximately 180 species of birds are found in the Netherlands; protected areas for mass wintering of waterfowl (geese, waders, gulls, etc.) have been created in the river delta. The North Sea is rich in fish – cod, herring. Among minerals is natural gas (explored reserves of 2 billion m3, 1st place in Western Europe). Oil is being produced on the Dutch part of the continental shelf. According to bridgat.com, there is coal, clay. The climate is mild maritime. The average temperature in January is -1-3 C°, in July +16-17 C°.
Population of the Netherlands
In terms of population, the Netherlands is the largest of the small Western European countries. 1st place in Western Europe and 3rd in the world in terms of population density: 393 people/km2, and in some areas – up to 850 people/km2. During 1980-2002, the population increased by 2.01 million people; annual growth in 2002 0.55%. High growth was determined by the characteristics of the natural movement of the population. The birth rate in the Netherlands, as in all developed countries, is low (2002 – 1.1‰); but mortality is at a low level (0.8‰). Child mortality 0.4 pers. per 1000 newborns, the average life expectancy is 78.6 years (men – 75.7 years, women – 81.6 years). The age structure is characterized by a tendency towards aging. In 2001, the proportion of people aged 0-14 years was 18.3%, 65 years and older was 13.9%. Retirement age: 65 for men, 60 for women. The ratio of men and women, practically unchanged since 1980, is 49.5:51.5. 82% of the population lives in cities, most of them live in the Randstad industrial, commercial and transport agglomeration, which includes Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Delft and Utrecht. In the 1980s-90s. immigration increased markedly in the Netherlands. Annual migration increase 0.25% (2002). Among the immigrants are people from Suriname and the Netherlands Antilles (12%), from Asia (22%) and from Africa (16%). The national composition of the population is very homogeneous. The vast majority (83%) are the Dutch and the Flemings, who are very close to them in terms of language and culture (in the provinces of Limburg and Brabant). In the north, in the provinces of Groningen and Friesland, a small Frisians (400 thousand people) live. 9% of the inhabitants are of non-European origin. Among the believing population there are 31% Catholics, 21% Protestants, 4.4% Muslims, and 3.6% others.