chapter  21
14 Pages

The Netherlands Wim Meeus

By22 Russia Andrei Podolskij 321 23 Sweden Kari Trost 335 24 United Kingdom John Coleman and Debi Roker 353

Background Information The Netherlands is one of the smallest countries in Europe. Its origins as a state date from the year 1579, when it was founded as the Republic of the Seven United Provinces. By the beginning of the twenty-fi rst century, slightly more than 16 million people were living in The Netherlands. The 12 to 24 age group accounted for 2.5 million persons. About 15% of the individuals in this age group were of non-Dutch and non-Western origin (most of them originate from Surinam, Morocco, and Turkey). In 2009 the gross national income was about €527,000 million (CBS 2010b), approximately 62 times larger than in the late 1940s (CBS, 2001b).