Visit Holland - The Netherlands

Geography facts

The geography of the European part of Netherlands is in that much of its land has been reclaimed from the sea and is below sea level, protected by dikes.

Another factor that has influenced its physical appearance is that the country is among the most densely populated on Earth. It is ranked 15th overall on that scale, but is behind only three countries having a population over 10 million. Consequently, the Netherlands is highly urbanised.

 

Landscape
The country can be split into two areas: the low and flat lands in the west and north, and the higher lands with minor hills in the east and south. The former, including the reclaimed polders and river deltas, make up about half of its surface area and are less than 1 metre (3.3 ft) above sea level, much of it actually below sea level. An extensive range of seawalls and coastal dunes protect the Netherlands from the sea, and levees and dikes along the rivers protect against river flooding. The latter is mostly flat; only in the extreme south of the country does the land rise to any significant extent, in the foothills of the Ardennes mountains. This is where Vaalserberg is located, the highest point on the European part of the Netherlands at 322.7 metres (1,059 ft) above sea level.

Statistics
Geographic coordinates: 5.45°E and 50.30°N

    1 degree = 111 km NS, 68 km EW (the ratio is 0.61, the cosine of the latitude)
    1 minute = 1,850 m NS (ca. 1 nautical mile), 1,140 m EW
    1 second = 31 m NS, 19 m EW


Map references: Europe
Area:
total: 41,526 km2 (16,033 sq mi)
land: 33,883 km2 (13,082 sq mi)
water: 7,643 km2 (2,951 sq mi)

Land boundaries:
total: 1,027 km (638 mi)
border countries:

    Belgium 450 km (280 mi)
    Germany 577 km (359 mi)

Coastline: 451 km (280 mi)

Maritime claims:
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi)
territorial sea: 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi)

Climate: temperate; marine; cool summers and mild winters

Terrain: mostly coastal lowland and reclaimed land (polders); some hills in southeast

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Zuidplaspolder (Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel) −7 m (−23 ft), below sea level.
highest point on European mainland: Vaalserberg 322.7 m (1,059 ft) above sea level.
highest point (including the Caribbean islands): Mount Scenery 877 m (2,877 ft) above sea level.

Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, arable land

Land use:
arable land: 25%
permanent crops: 3%
permanent pastures: 25%
forests and woodland: 8%
other: 39%

Natural hazards: flooding by sea and rivers is a constant danger. The extensive system of dikes, dams, and sand dunes protect nearly one-half of the total area from being flooded during the heavy autumn storms from the north-west.

Environment – current issues: water pollution in the form of heavy metals, organic compounds, and fetilisers such as nitrates and phosphates; air pollution from vehicles and refining activities; acid rain

Geography – note: located at mouths of three major European rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Scheldt)

Urbanisation
Largest cities
Sources are CBS based

With their provinces:
    Amsterdam (North Holland) 744,740 inhabitants
    Rotterdam (South Holland) 581,615 inh.
    The Hague ('s-Gravenhage) (South Holland) 474,245 inh.
    Utrecht (Utrecht) 290,529 inh.
    Eindhoven (North Brabant) 209,601 inh.
    Tilburg (North Brabant) 200,975 inh.
    Almere (Flevoland) 181,990 inh.
    Groningen (Groningen) 180,824 inh.
    Breda (North Brabant) 170,451 inh.
    Nijmegen (Gelderland) 160,732 inh.
    Apeldoorn (Gelderland) 155,328 inh.
    Enschede (Overijssel) 154,311 inh.
    Haarlem (North Holland) 147,179 inh.
    Arnhem (Gelderland) 142,638 inh.
    Zaanstad (North Holland) 141,829 inh.
    Amersfoort (Utrecht) 139,914 inh.
    Haarlemmermeer (municipal seat: Hoofddorp) (North Holland) 139,396 inh.
    's-Hertogenbosch (North Brabant) 135,787 inh.
    Zoetermeer (South Holland) 118,534 inh.
    Dordrecht (South Holland) 118,443 inh.
    Maastricht (Limburg) 118,378 inh.
    Leiden (South Holland) 117,363 inh.
    Zwolle (Overijssel) 115,144 inh.
    Ede (Gelderland) 107,528 inh.
    Venlo (Limburg) 100,271 inh.
    Westland (municipal seat: Naaldwijk) (South Holland) 99,067 inh.
    Deventer (Overijssel) 96,958 inh.
    Sittard-Geleen (municipal seat: Sittard) (Limburg) 96,024 inh.
    Delft (South Holland) 95,237 inh.
    Alkmaar (North Holland) 93,986 inh.

Largest agglomerations
Sources are based on CBS

    Amsterdam (Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Diemen, Landsmeer, Oostzaan, Wormerland, Zaanstad)
    Rotterdam (Rotterdam, Barendrecht, Capelle aan den IJssel, Krimpen aan den IJssel, Spijkenisse, Schiedam, Vlaardingen, Maasland, Maassluis, Rozenburg)
    The Hague ('s-Gravenhage, Rijswijk, Wateringen, Voorburg, Leidschendam, Wassenaar)
    Utrecht (Utrecht, Nieuwegein, IJsselstein, Maarssen)
    Eindhoven (Eindhoven, Veldhoven, Geldrop, Son en Breugel, Waalre)
    Breda (Breda, Oosterhout, Etten-Leur, Drimmelen, Zundert)
    Tilburg (Tilburg, Goirle)
    Haarlem (Haarlem, Heemstede, Bloemendaal)
    Twente (Enschede, Hengelo, Borne, Almelo)
    Groningen (Groningen, Haren)
    Arnhem (Arnhem, Rozendaal)
    Leiden (Leiden, Katwijk, Voorschoten, Leiderdorp, Oegstgeest, Rijnsburg, Valkenburg, Warmond)
    Dordrecht (Dordrecht, 's-Gravendeel, Hardinxveld-Giessendam, Papendrecht, Sliedrecht, Zwijndrecht)
    Heerlen (Heerlen, Kerkrade, Landgraaf, Brunssum)
    's-Hertogenbosch ('s-Hertogenbosch, Vught)
    Sittard-Geleen (Sittard-Geleen, Beek, Stein)
    Amersfoort (Amersfoort, Leusden)

Climate

Climate data for De Bilt (1981–2010 averages), all KNMI locations (1901–2011 extremes), snowy days: (1971–2000 averages).
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F) 17.2
(63.0)
20.4
(68.7)
25.6
(78.1)
32.2
(90.0)
35.6
(96.1)
38.4
(101.1)
37.1
(98.8)
38.6
(101.5)
35.2
(95.4)
30.1
(86.2)
21.1
(70.0)
17.8
(64.0)
38.6
(101.5)
Average high °C (°F) 5.6
(42.1)
6.4
(43.5)
10.0
(50.0)
14.0
(57.2)
18.0
(64.4)
20.4
(68.7)
22.8
(73.0)
22.6
(72.7)
19.1
(66.4)
14.6
(58.3)
9.6
(49.3)
6.1
(43.0)
14.1
(57.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 3.1
(37.6)
3.3
(37.9)
6.2
(43.2)
9.2
(48.6)
13.1
(55.6)
15.6
(60.1)
17.9
(64.2)
17.5
(63.5)
14.5
(58.1)
10.7
(51.3)
6.7
(44.1)
3.7
(38.7)
10.1
(50.2)
Average low °C (°F) 0.3
(32.5)
0.2
(32.4)
2.3
(36.1)
4.1
(39.4)
7.8
(46.0)
10.5
(50.9)
12.8
(55.0)
12.3
(54.1)
9.9
(49.8)
6.9
(44.4)
3.6
(38.5)
1.0
(33.8)
6.0
(42.8)
Record low °C (°F) −27.4
(−17.3)
−26.8
(−16.2)
−20.7
(−5.3)
−9.4
(15.1)
−5.4
(22.3)
−1.2
(29.8)
0.7
(33.3)
1.3
(34.3)
−3.7
(25.3)
−8.5
(16.7)
−14.4
(6.1)
−22.3
(−8.1)
−27.4
(−17.3)
Precipitation mm (inches) 69.6
(2.74)
55.8
(2.197)
66.8
(2.63)
42.3
(1.665)
61.9
(2.437)
65.6
(2.583)
81.1
(3.193)
72.9
(2.87)
78.1
(3.075)
82.8
(3.26)
79.8
(3.142)
75.8
(2.984)
832.5
(32.776)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 17 14 17 13 14 14 14 14 15 16 18 17 184
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0 cm) 6 6 4 2 0 0 2 5 25
% humidity 87 84 81 75 75 76 77 79 84 86 89 89 82
Mean monthly sunshine hours 62.3 85.7 121.6 173.6 207.2 193.9 206.0 187.7 138.3 112.9 63.0 49.3 1,601.5
Source: Knmi.nl

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