You and the Netherlands: Fun Facts about the Netherlands

94% of Dutch households have internet access

The Netherlands has the highest number of Internet users in the European Union, with 94 percent of Dutch households now having broadband Internet access. Data published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, on internet access and usage across Europe show that the Netherlands continues to lead Europe in connectivity and Internet use.

Almost three quarters of all European households had access to the Internet in 2011, compared with about one half in 2006. As well as internet use and broadband connections, the survey also covers other indicators such as e-commerce, e-skills and e-government.

Whilst the Netherlands had the highest Internet access in 2011, Bulgaria had the lowest, at 45 percent. Almost half of internet users aged 16-74 in the EU used the internet within the last 12 months to obtain information from websites of public authorities, and 28% to submit completed forms to public authorities, for example tax declarations (e-government). In 2011, the largest proportions of internet users who obtained information from websites of public authorities were observed in Denmark (86% of internet users), Sweden (74%), Finland (65%), Estonia and the Netherlands (both 62%). The highest shares of those having used the internet for submitting completed forms to public authorities were recorded in Denmark (70% of internet users), the Netherlands (52%), Portugal (48%) and Estonia (46%).

Source: Eurostat news release,

Further information: Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency,

Dutch is a top 10 language on Twitter

Dutch people are extremely active Twitter users. Every day, more tweets are sent in Dutch than in Chinese, Arabic and Korean. French agency Semiocast reports that of 180 million Twitter messages sent on a daily basis in October 2011, 5.4 million were posted in Dutch. The top ten languages in use on Twitter are English, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Malay, Dutch, Korean, Arabic and Thai. Dutch people are among the world’s most active internet users. More than 88 percent of the country’s 16.5 million inhabitants use the internet, according to Internet World Stats. Of those, 68 percent are active on social media such as Facebook. Twitter is used by 17 percent.

Source: Dutch Daily News, Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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Holland 2nd most prosperous country in Europe

The Netherlands had the second best standard of living in the European Union in 2011, according to Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency. The gross domestic product (GDP) per head was more than one third higher than the EU average. Only in Luxembourg was GDP per person higher. Ireland had the third highest GDP in the 27-member European Union. Bulgaria had the lowest standard of living at half the average GDP for the EU as a whole.

The economic crisis means there was relatively less wealth in Greece, Italy and Spain. The GDP per person in Greece was ten percent below the EU average, in 2009 it was only six percent less. Ireland had the third highest GDP in the 27-member European Union.

Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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Holland ranked 3rd best place to live in the world

The Netherlands is the third best place in the world to live according to the United Nations, The UN’s annual Human Development Index compares 187 countries on factors including health, education, annual income, literacy and life expectancy. It serves as an indicator of progress in human development across nations – particularly in developing countries.

The United States, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Germany and Sweden round out the top 10 countries in the 2011 HDI. The economic boom generated by emerging powers China and India did not reflect in their rankings – they ranked 101st and 134th respectively.

The ten lowest scoring countries for health, education and average income were all in sub-Saharan Africa, including Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Niger and Burundi.

The annual Human Development Report is an editorially independent publication of the United Nations Development Programme.

Source: Dutch Daily News,

Further information: UN Human Development Report:, Radio Netherlands Worldwide,

Dutch agricultural exports keep rising

Agricultural exports from the Netherlands continued to rise in 2011 in spite of a downturn in 2010 as a result of the 2009 economic crisis. The total value of agricultural exports increased from 66.6 billion euros in 2010 to 72.8 billion euros in 2011, an increase of 9 percent.

The minister for agriculture and foreign trade, Henk Bleker, announced these results at the Grüne Woche in Berlin, the largest international trade fair for food, agriculture and horticulture.

Germany is by far the most important trading partner for the Netherlands for agricultural products. Twenty-six per cent of Holland’s agricultural exports go to Germany. The increased value of these exports came mainly from cheese, beef and poultry meat. The export value of vegetables and fruit was markedly lower than last year. A contributing factor was the poor price obtained for cucumbers and tomatoes as a result of the EHEC crisis.

Bleker said: “The new agricultural export figures are certainly a great boost. It demonstrates that even in difficult economic times Dutch agricultural businesses make the most of the opportunities there are. The primary sector’s contribution to kick-starting the economy is considerable. They deserve to be complimented.”

The Netherlands is Europe’s largest exporter of agricultural products and the second largest in the world, after the United States.

Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation,

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Holland is world’s biggest vegetable exporter

For the fourth year in a row, the Netherlands is the world’s biggest exporter of fresh vegetables. The Dutch agricultural marketing board reports that the Netherlands exported 4.6 billion kilos of vegetables in 2010, with a market value of 4.2 billion euros. Second on the list is Mexico, which is closing the gap on the Netherlands, the marketing board said. Measured in kilos, Dutch vegetable exports grew by seven percent . The main Dutch export is onions followed by tomatoes. Last year, Holland exported 1.4 billion kilos of onions and 0.9 billion kilos of tomatoes. Other vegetables that did well were peppers and cucumbers. In 2010, global vegetable exports grew to 32.2 billion kilos, a six percent increase on the preceding year. After the Netherlands and Mexico, the world’s leading vegetable exporting countries are Spain, China and the United States.


Further information: Radio Netherlands Worldwide,


Holland 1st in DHL Global Connectedness Index 2011

The Netherlands has the most economic links with the rest of the world, according to the DHL Global Connectedness Index 2011. DHL has released a detailed country-by-country analysis of the flows that connect the world. The study ranks 125 countries according to the depth and breadth of their integration into the world economy and also examines the relationship between global connectedness and welfare.

The top ten overall ranks in the 2011 DHL Global Connectedness Index are the Netherlands, Singapore, Ireland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, Hong Kong (China), and Malta.


Further information: 2011 DHL Global Connectedness Index,

Country profile for the Netherlands

Four Dutch companies among Top 100 Global Innovators

The Dutch companies ASML, Unilever, Shell and Philips have made it onto Thomson Reuters’ list of the Top 100 Global Innovator companies. The companies on the list are seen as leaders in innovative technology and protection and commercialization of inventions.

“Innovation is the cornerstone of economic growth and success, for both the companies that innovate and the countries that embrace them,” begins the Thomson Reuters report. Looking at patent grants, worldwide approvals and citations, the report lists 100 multinational firms as leaders in innovation.

U.S. firms lead with 40 innovative firms. Japan comes next with 27, France 11 and Sweden 6. the Netherlands had the fifth largest number of companies along with Germany and Korea.

Thomson Reuters publishes this yearly list based on four main criteria: patent approval success rate, global reach of patent portfolio, patent influence in literature citations and overall patent volume.

Source: Dutch Daily News,

Further information:,

4 Dutch firms in top-50 of Deloitte Fast 500 EMEA

Four Dutch companies feature in the top-50 of this year’s Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA programme. The Fast 500 EMEA is the region’s most objective industry award programme, recognising technology companies that have achieved the fastest rates of revenue growth in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) during the previous five years. Combining technological innovation, entrepreneurship and rapid growth, Fast 500 companies – large, small, public and private – span a variety of industry sectors, and are leaders in hardware, software, telecom, semiconductors, internet, media and entertainment, life sciences and emerging areas, such as clean technology. The Technology Fast 500 programme is now in its 11th year.

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