Population and Languages of Netherlands

The Netherlands is the most populated country in the world with 477 people per square kilometer of the land (393 people including the internal waters). Netherlands is populated in 81% by Caucasian Dutch population of Germanic or Gallo Celtic descent. Contrary to the popular ideas, more Dutch are catholic 31% than protestant 21%.

As in many Western countries, population of the Netherlands is getting older, and the median age is now almost 40. The Dutch call it "vergrijsing" of the population (from the colour of hair grey – "getting grey"). The population in the Netherlands has slightly more women than men.

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Dutch is a spoken language in the Netherlands as well as an official language of the country. However, most of Dutch people speak at least one foreign language, mostly English that is taught at school during the basic education. Many Dutch people speak also German, which is in many aspects similar to Dutch language and some of them speak French. In the North of the country in Friesland, a Frisian dialect is spoken and taught at school. People from the Muslim population speak often Turkish or Arabic.

Population: 16,318,199 (July 2004 est.)

Density of population: The Netherlands is he most densely populated country in the world, 477 people per sq.km. of the land (393 per sq km including internal waters as territory).

Age structure : 0-14 years: 18.2% (male 1,501,127; female 1,436,453), 15-64 years: 67.9% (male 5,576,141; female 5,389,764), 65 years and over: 13.9% (male 929,087; female 1,317,939) (2003 est.)

Median age : total - 38.6 years, male - 37.7 years, female - 39.5 years (2002)

Population growth rate: 0.5% (2003 est.)

Birth rate : 11.31 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Death rate : 8.66 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.35 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)

Sex ratio: At birth: 1.04 male(s)/female, under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female, 15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female, 65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female, total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2003 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 4.26 deaths/1,000 live births, female: 3.82 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.), male: 4.68 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 78.74 years, male: 75.85 years, female: 81.76 years (2003 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.65 children born/woman (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS : adult prevalence rate: 0.2% (2001 est.), people living with HIV/AIDS: 17,000 (2001 est.), deaths: 110 (2001 est.)

Ethnic groups: Over 81,7% of the population are Dutch (Germanic and Gallo-Celtic stock), other 18,3% (of which 9% are non-western origin mainly Turks, Moroccans, Antilleans, Surinamese and Indonesians) (1999 est.)

Religions: Roman Catholic 31%, Protestant 21%, Muslim 4.4%, other 3.6%, unaffiliated 40%

Literacy: (definition: age 15 and over can read and write) 99%