Some things you may not know – Brief facts about the Netherlands

Despite the national flag consisting of three colors red, white, blue – orange is the national color of the Netherlands because the royal family comes from the House of Orange. Before becoming king, Willem-Alexander was the prince of Orange. On the king’s birthday – April 27th – the Dutch people dress in orange clothing and celebrate their country with outdoor parties, picnics, and parades.

The Netherlands is one of the founding members of the European Union (EU). The country participated in negotiations and ultimately formed the European Union from its early days. This nation is relatively supportive of Europe, and the euro replaced the guilder in 2002.

Both Dutch and Frisian are official languages of the Netherlands, although English is widely used by the majority of the population. It is estimated that fewer than 400,000 people speak Frisian, so English speakers in the Netherlands constitute a large number. Limburgish, Dutch Low Saxon, and Gronings are considered minority languages.

About 83% of the population lives in urban areas, but there are very few high-rise buildings. The Netherlands has many medium-density housing, with apartment blocks ranging from 2 to 6 stories and one of the highest rates of social housing in Europe.

The Netherlands is a predominantly irreligious country: over 40% of the Dutch say they do not follow any religion, compared to 30% who are Catholic (the largest religious group) and 20% who are Protestant.

The Dutch are among the most physically active in the European Union: 52% of the population plays sports weekly, much higher than the EU average of 38%. The Netherlands ranked highest for non-sport physical activity rates monthly, weekly, and daily in 2013 in the European Union with rates of 89%, 83%, and 43% respectively.

Over 40% of the Dutch population lives in the Randstad metropolitan area, a super metropolitan area located in the western central part of the country, consisting mainly of four major cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht.

The Netherlands has a high quality of life and a high happiness index; in 2017, Dutch youth (aged 15) ranked second in the world in terms of happiness, after Mexico, they have good relationships with parents and teachers, with the majority (80 – 90%), including foreign children, saying they feel cared for and their parents care about their school life.

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