People in Netherlands

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Downtown Amsterdam

Downtown Amsterdam

If you walk through cities in the west of the Netherlands, you tend to think the Dutch are a cosmopolitan people. In the rural areas, however you can easily distinguish local differences. In the North, you'll still mostly see the silent blue-eyed, blond types, whereas in the South people tend to be shorter, darker and more talkative.

At primary school children used to learn: people above the great rivers that split the country in two are mostly Protestant; the southern part is dominantly Catholic. But these differences have greatly faded away. To the trained ear there are some differences in pronunciation between the different regions and the Frisians and Limburgers even have a language of their own.

The Dutch do appreciate foreign attempts to speak their language, but proud as they are on their alleged linguistic skills, they usually switch to some sort of English, French or German quite fast.

Population: 16,491,461 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 18% (male 1,515,123/female 1,445,390)
15-64 years: 67.8% (male 5,656,448/female 5,525,481)
65 years and over: 14.2% (male 994,723/female 1,354,296) (2006 est.)

Median age:
total: 39.4 years
male: 38.6 years
female: 40.2 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate:
0.49% (2006 est.)

Birth rate:
10.9 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate:
8.68 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate:
2.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.73 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.96 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.52 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.38 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.96 years
male: 76.39 years
female: 81.67 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.66 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Nationality:
noun: Dutchman(men), Dutchwoman(women)
adjective: Dutch

Ethnic groups:
Dutch 83%, other 17% (of which 9% are non-Western origin mainly Turks, Moroccans, Antilleans, Surinamese, and Indonesians) (1999 est.)

Religions:
Roman Catholic 31%, Dutch Reformed 13%, Calvinist 7%, Muslim 5.5%, other 2.5%, none 41% (2002)

Languages:
Dutch (official), Frisian (official)

Contributors
April 19, 2006 change by knibbe (1 point)
May 18, 2005 change by giorgio

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