10 Fun Facts About The Netherlands
1. More than a quarter of the Netherlands is below sea level
In addition to that, 50% of its land lies less than one meter above sea level. Schiphol is actually 4.5 meters below sea level. Luckily, the Netherlands is not in a tsunami-prone part of the world.
2. Dutch people are the tallest in the world
With an average height of 184 cm for men and 170 cm for women, Dutchies are the tallest people in the world. Scientists say it's because of their DNA, nutrition and welfare, others say it's because of their copious consumption of dairy.
3. The Netherlands is the most densely populated nation in Europe
With 487 inhabitants per square kilometer, the Netherlands has the highest population density of any European country with more than 1 million inhabitants.
4. Flat as a pancake
The Netherlands is a very flat country. The Vaalserberg is the highest point in (the European part of) the Netherlands. It's only 322.7 meters high and located in the south-easternmost edge of the country in the province of Limburg.
5. Amsterdam is built entirely on poles
Because Amsterdam's soil consists of a thick layer of fen and clay, all buildings are built on wooden poles that are fixed in a sandy layer that is 11 meters deep on average. The Royal Palace at Dam Square is built on no less than 13,659 wooden poles.
6. Turkish Tulips
Tulips, tulip fields and flower bulbs are typically Dutch. Yet, tulips do not originate from the Netherlands. The first tulip bulbs were imported from Turkey to the Netherlands, where they proved to grow extremely well on Dutch soil.
7. About 30% of all Dutch babies are born at home
Internationally, it's customary to give birth in a hospital. Not in the Netherlands: about 30% of all Dutch births happen at home.
8. Dutchies love their coffee
After Scandinavians, the Dutch are the world's biggest coffee drinkers. They drink no less than 140 liters of coffee a year on average. That's 3.2 cups a day!
9. 86% of Dutchies speak English as a second language
All Dutch kids learn English in school and visitors to Amsterdam are often impressed with the fluency with which the Dutch speak English.
10. The Nederlands is the largest beer exporter in the world
In 2001, Dutch beer companies exported an astonishing volume of 1.3 billion liters of beer abroad. Half of that was shipped to the U.S.!
Did you like these fun facts about the Netherlands? Check out our 10 fun facts about Amsterdam!
If you're interested in Dutch cuisine, take a look at our Guides to Dutch Foods Series: Dutch Foods You Should Try Part I, Part II and Part III.
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