The Netherlands

The Netherlands is a relatively small country, which borders Germany and Belgium and lies across the North Sea from the United Kingdom. The country is often referred to as “Holland”, though strictly speaking this name only refers to two of its 12 provinces. With a population over 16 million, it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world.

Much of the population is concentrated in the highly urbanised west of the country, known as the Randstad. This area includes Amsterdam (the capital), The Hague (seat of Dutch government) and Rotterdam (one of the largest ports in the world). The Randstad forms a 60 km radius semi-circle, the centre of which is agricultural. With its 4.5 million inhabitants, the Randstad is one of the most important urban agglomerations in Europe. The small historic city of Delft is strategically placed within this area, only a short journey away from all these major cities.

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