The Netherlands is a country in Northwestern Europe. It has a territory of 16,040 square miles, which consists of a continental part in Europe and three islands in the Caribbean. Its population is over 17 million people. The name “Netherlands” literally means “the lower lands” and comes from its geographical location. Most of the Dutch lands are barely one meter above sea level, and a significant part of them has been reclaimed from lakes and the North Sea. The Netherlands is known for its flat landscapes and abundance of water canals.
The first human activity in the Dutch lands dates back to the Neanderthals - 250,000 years ago. The history of the Netherlands has been heavily shaped by Celtic, Germanic and Roman tribes. The first Dutch republic was formed in 1581. The Netherlands is one of the founding countries of the European Union and NATO.
The Dutch economy is developed and rated as a high-income one. It has a central role in the functioning of the common European market. The leading sectors are fishing, trade, agriculture, shipping and banking, and they have been important for the country for more than four centuries. The Netherlands is a major exporter and ranks tenth in the world in terms of exports. Its main trading partners are the countries in the European Union, as well as the U.S., Russia and China.
The country is a very densely populated one, as well as highly urbanized. More than 91% of the Dutch live in cities. About 850,000 people are based in the capital Amsterdam. Other large cities and metropolitan areas are Rotterdam, the Hague, Utrecht, and Eindhoven.
The official language in the Netherlands is Dutch. The literacy rate is 99%. English is spoken by the majority of people. In fact, the Dutch lead in terms of English proficiency worldwide. English is used in all spheres of life - from tourism and trade to education.
Dutch universities have a long tradition of providing high-quality education to students from around the globe. Since Bachelors and Masters programs are affordable, they attract thousands of young talents every year. The top universities in the Netherlands include the Delft University of Technology, University of Amsterdam, Eindhoven University of Technology, Leiden University, Utrecht University, and Erasmus University Rotterdam. Some of the best programs they offer are in engineering, IT, business and marketing.
Many Dutch professionals choose freelancing because of the diverse opportunities that it offers, as well as the possibility to work remotely. With solid higher education behind their backs, they offer excellent services in fields like software development, IT, business management, marketing, and advertising.
Income in the Netherlands is high in comparison with most European countries. The average monthly salary is 4,000 EUR ($4,700). Specialists in technical services and in media and broadcasting earn around 2,800 EUR ($3,300). Advertising and graphic design professionals make about 3,300 EUR ($3,900). IT specialists, bankers, and business managers can earn up to 6,000 EUR monthly ($7,080).
The currency in the Netherlands is the Euro, which is the common currency in the European Union. The current exchange rate is 1 USD to 0.85 EUR.
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