About the Region Dutch Society

Dutch Society

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

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.

Document acties
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
Holland Handbook

Holland Handbook 2015

The Holland handbook offers 256 full-color pages of essential information for the expatriate on all aspects of living and working in the Netherlands such as: career, fiscal issues, health care, housing, insurance, international education, registration and telecommunications.