Open translate

Netherlands Government - 2024


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

conventional long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands

conventional short form: Netherlands

local long form: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden

local short form: Nederland

abbreviation: NL

etymology: the country name literally means "the lowlands" and refers to the geographic features of the land being both flat and down river from higher areas (i.e., at the estuaries of the Scheldt, Meuse, and Rhine Rivers; only about half of the Netherlands is more than 1 meter above sea level)

Government type

parliamentary constitutional monarchy; part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands


name: Amsterdam; note - The Hague is the seat of government

geographic coordinates: 52 21 N, 4 55 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

time zone note: time descriptions apply to the continental Netherlands only, for the constituent countries in the Caribbean, the time difference is UTC-4

etymology: the original Dutch name, Amstellerdam, meaning "a dam on the Amstel River," dates to the 13th century; over time the name simplified to Amsterdam

Administrative divisions

12 provinces (provincies, singular - provincie), 3 public entities* (openbare lichamen, singular - openbaar lichaam (Dutch); entidatnan publiko, singular - entidat publiko (Papiamento)); Bonaire*, Drenthe, Flevoland, Fryslan (Friesland), Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant (North Brabant), Noord-Holland (North Holland), Overijssel, Saba*, Sint Eustatius*, Utrecht, Zeeland (Zealand), Zuid-Holland (South Holland)

note 1: the Netherlands is one of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the other three, Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten, are all islands in the Caribbean; while all four parts are considered equal partners, in practice, most of the Kingdom's affairs are administered by the Netherlands, which makes up about 98% of the Kingdom's total land area and population

note 2: although Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are officially incorporated into the country of the Netherlands under the broad designation of "public entities," Dutch Government sources regularly apply to them the more descriptive term of "special municipalities"; Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius are collectively referred to as the Caribbean Netherlands


26 July 1581 (the northern provinces of the Low Countries formally declared their independence with an Act of Abjuration; however, it was not until 30 January 1648 and the Peace of Westphalia that Spain recognized this independence)

National holiday

King's Day (birthday of King WILLEM-ALEXANDER), 27 April (1967); note - King's or Queen's Day is observed on the ruling monarch's birthday; currently celebrated on 26 April if 27 April is a Sunday


history: many previous to adoption of the "Basic Law of the Kingdom of the Netherlands" on 24 August 1815; revised 8 times, the latest in 1983

amendments: proposed as an Act of Parliament by or on behalf of the king or by the Second Chamber of the States General; the Second Chamber is dissolved after its first reading of the Act; passage requires a second reading by both the First Chamber and the newly elected Second Chamber, followed by at least two-thirds majority vote of both chambers, and ratification by the king; amended many times, last in 2018

Legal system

civil law system based on the French system; constitution does not permit judicial review of acts of the States General

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Netherlands

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: King WILLEM-ALEXANDER (since 30 April 2013); Heir Apparent Princess CATHARINA-AMALIA (daughter of King WILLEM-ALEXANDER, born 7 December 2003)

head of government: Prime Minister Mark RUTTE (since 14 October 2010); Deputy Prime Ministers Sigrid KAAG and Wopke HOEKSTRA (since 10 January 2022), Carola SCHOUTEN (since 26 October 2017); note - Mark RUTTE's ruling coalition collapsed on 8 July 2023; he is serving as prime minister in a caretaker status until a new prime minister is named following the 22 November 2023

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch

elections/appointments: the monarchy is hereditary; following Second Chamber elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch; deputy prime ministers are appointed by the monarch

Legislative branch

description: bicameral States General or Staten Generaal consists of:
Senate or Eerste Kamer (75 seats; members indirectly elected by the country's 12 provincial council members by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
House of Representatives or Tweede Kamer (150 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by open-list proportional representation vote to serve up to 4-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held on 30 May 2023 (next to be held in May 2027)
House of Representatives - last held on 22 November 2023 (next to be held on 30 November 2027)

election results:
Senate - percent of vote by party - BBB 21.3%, VVD 13.3%, GL 9.3%, PvdA 9.3%, CDA 8.0%, D66 6.7%, PVV 5.3%, SP 4.0%, CU 4.0%, PvdD 4.0%, JA21 4.0%, Volt 2.7%, SGP 2.7%,  FvD 2.7%, other 2.6%; seats by party - BBB 16, VVD 10, GL 7, PvdA 7, CDA 6, D66 5, PVV 4, SP 3, CU 3, PvdD 3, JA21 3, Volt 2, SGP 2, FvD 2 other 2; composition (as of May 2023) - men 45, women 30, percent of women 40%
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - PVV 23.6%, GL/PvdA 15.5%, VVD 15.2%, NSC 12.8%, D66 6.2%, BBB 4.7%, CDA 3.3%, SP 3.1%, Denk 2.4%, FvD 2.2%, PvdD 2.3%, CU 2.1%, SGP 2.2%, other 6.4%; seats by party - PVV 37, GL/PvdA 25, VVD 24, NSC 20, D66 9, BBB 7, CDA 5, SP 5, Denk 3, PvdD 3, CU 3, FvD 3, SGP 3, other 6; composition (as of December 2023) - men 89, women 60, percent of women 40.3%; note - total States General percent of women 40.2%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court or Hoge Raad (consists of 41 judges: the president, 6 vice presidents, 31 justices or raadsheren, and 3 justices in exceptional service, referred to as buitengewone dienst); the court is divided into criminal, civil, tax, and ombuds chambers

judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the monarch from a list provided by the House of Representatives of the States General; justices appointed for life or until mandatory retirement at age 70

subordinate courts: courts of appeal; district courts, each with up to 5 subdistrict courts; Netherlands Commercial Court

Political parties and leaders

Christian Democratic Appeal or CDA [Henri BONTENBAI]
Christian Union or CU [Mirjam BIKKER]
Correct Answer 2021 or JA21 [Joost EEDERMANS]
Democrats 66 or D66 [Rob JETTEN]
Denk [Stephan van BAARLE]
Farmer-Citizen Movement or BBB [Caroline van der PLAS]
50Plus [Martin van ROOIJEN]
Forum for Democracy or FvD [Thierry BAUDET]
Green Left (GroenLinks) or GL [Jesse KLAVER]
Labor Party or PvdA [Attje KUIKEN]
New Social Contract or NSC [Pieter OMTZIGT]
Party for Freedom or PVV [Geert WILDERS]
Party for the Animals or PvdD [Esther OUWENHAND]
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy or VVD [Dilan YESILGOZ]
Reformed Political Party or SGP [Chris STOFFER]
Socialist Party or SP [Lilian MARIJNISSEN]
Together or BIJ1 [Edson OLF]
Volt Netherlands or Volt [Laurens DASSEN]

International organization participation

ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, Benelux, BIS, CBSS (observer), CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNHRC, UNIDO, UNMISS, UNOOSA, UNRWA, UN Security Council (temporary), UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Birgitta TAZELAAR (since 15 September 2023)

chancery: 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 244-5300

FAX: [1] (202) 362-3430

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Shefali RAZDAN DUGGAL (since 19 October 2022)

embassy: John Adams Park 1, 2244 BZ Wassenaar

mailing address: 5780 Amsterdam Place, Washington DC  20521-5780

telephone: [31] (70) 310-2209

FAX: [31] (70) 310-2207

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Amsterdam

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of red (bright vermilion; top), white, and blue (cobalt); similar to the flag of Luxembourg, which uses a lighter blue and is longer; the colors were derived from those of WILLIAM I, Prince of Orange, who led the Dutch Revolt against Spanish sovereignty in the latter half of the 16th century; originally the upper band was orange, but because its dye tended to turn red over time, the red shade was eventually made the permanent color; the banner is perhaps the oldest tricolor in continuous use

National symbol(s)

lion, tulip; national color: orange

National anthem

name: "Het Wilhelmus" (The William)

lyrics/music: Philips VAN MARNIX van Sint Aldegonde (presumed)/unknown

note: adopted 1932, in use since the 17th century, making it the oldest national anthem in the world; also known as "Wilhelmus van Nassouwe" (William of Nassau), it is in the form of an acrostic, where the first letter of each stanza spells the name of the leader of the Dutch Revolt

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 13 (12 cultural, 1 natural); note - includes one site in Curacao

selected World Heritage Site locales: Schokland and Surroundings (c); Dutch Water Defense Lines (c); Van Nellefabriek (c); Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout (c); Droogmakerij de Beemster (Beemster Polder) (c); Rietveld Schröderhuis (Rietveld Schröder House) (c); Wadden Sea (n); (c); Colonies of Benevolence (c); Frontiers of the Roman Empire - The Lower German Limes (c)

NOTE: The information regarding Netherlands on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Netherlands 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Netherlands 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.