The Netherlands is a melting pot of different religions and ethnicities, which come together to make a multicultural society. There are around 16 million Dutch or ‘Nederlanders’ (meaning Lowlanders) living in an area of some 41,000 square kilometres.
Shopping audience in Nijmegen centre
Ethnic make-up in Holland
The country is home to many immigrants from the former overseas territories of Indonesia, Surinam, Aruba and the Antilles, as well as from Turkey, Morocco and other countries. Of the current population, about 19% are immigrants and/ or belong to ethnic minorities.
Religions in Holland
The largest religious groups are Protestant and Roman Catholic. But more than one third of the Dutch don’t follow any particular denomination. Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism are all growing in The Netherlands.
The Dutch people
The Dutch are friendly and open-minded. The people in the northern and southern part of the country are sometimes different in terms of sociology and the way they act. Generally, the northern Dutch are more pragmatic favouring a direct approach and displaying a less exuberant lifestyle than the described as being bon vivants. But even within north and south smaller regions exist with different values and customs. One the things all the Dutch have in common is their willingness to speak English when meeting foreigners.
- Famous Dutch people
Some famous Dutch people:
- Painters: Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, Vincent van Gogh, Piet Mondriaan.
- Writers and poets: Harry Mulisch, Gerard Reve, Willem Frederik Hermans, Jan Wolkers, Jacob Cats.
- Scientists: Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Christiaan Huygens, Jan Tinbergen
- Sports: Johan Cruijf, Marcio van Basten, Richard Krajicek, Pieter van den Hoogeband, Sven Kramer