Once known as Holland, the Netherlands is located in western Europe, between Belgium and Germany. The country borders the North Sea as well. More than one-fifth of the country is below sea level (this is known as the Low Netherlands). Due to its proximity to the North Sea, sand dunes and man-made dikes are needed to prevent flooding.
Population: 17 million
Ethnic Groups: Dutch (78.6%), EU (5.8%), Indonesian (2.2%), Moroccan (2.2%), Surinamese (2.1%), Bonairian, Saba Islander, Sint Eustatian (0.8%), Other (5.9%)
Languages: Dutch (Official)
Religions: Roman Catholic (28%), Protestant (19%), Other (11%), None (42%)
CIA: The World Factbook - Last Updated July 13, 2017
In Canada: 1,111,650
In the GTA: 98,890
In Toronto: 41,650
Primary Areas of Settlement in the GTA (Social Atlas):
Uxbridge, King, Halton Hills, Milton, Caledon, Brampton, Aurora, Newmarket, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, and Pickering.
The Netherlands, which became independent from Spain in 1568, is one of the world's richest nations. It enjoys democracy and political stability. The Netherlands is a land of freedom - including freedom of religion. The Netherlands has a rich history rooted in Christianity, but many church buildings have been converted for other purposes as church attendance is decreasing. Today, only about half of the Dutch people identify as Christians. Religious minorities in the Netherlands include Muslims, Hindus, and Jews. Approximately 40 - 42% of the Dutch are non-religious; Dutch society is very secular and religion continues to decline.