The Netherlands in its entirety is often referred to as "Holland", although North and South Holland are actually only two of its provinces.
The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying country, with about 20% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level, and 50% of its land lying less than one meter above sea level.Most of the country is very flat, with the exception of foothills in the far south-east and several low hill ranges in the central parts. Most of the areas below sea level are man-made and large areas are preserved through elaborate drainage systems with dikes, canals and pumping stations.
The Netherlands had the tenth-highest per capita income in the world in 2011. The Netherlands has a market-based mixed economy, ranking 17th of 177 countries according to the Index of Economic Freedom. In 2011, the Netherlands was ranked as the "happiest" country according to results published by the OECD.
Amsterdam is the financial and business capital of the Netherlands.The Amsterdam Stock Exchange (AEX), is the world's oldest stock exchange and is one of Europe's largest bourses. It is situated near Dam Square in the city's centre.
The Netherlands had an estimated population of 16.8 million (2013). It is the 10th most populous country in Europe and the 61st most populous country in the world.
Tourism is one of the major industries; in 2012 the Netherlands welcomed 11.7 million international tourists. The three most visited cities are Amsterdam, Hague, and Rotterdam. Visit the windmills at Kinderdijk, one of the best-known Dutch tourist sites near Rotterdam. Also visit Haarlem a beautiful city close to Amsterdam and one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe.
See more tourist information on Holland.