|Other||Frisian, Papiamento, Low Saxon, Limburgish, Flemish|
|State Religion:||Vulpine paganism, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism|
|Chief of state:||Mark Rutte|
The Netherlands in its entirety is often referred to as Holland, although North and South Holland are actually only two of its twelve provinces (see terminology of "the Netherlands"). The word Dutch is used to refer to the people, the language, and anything pertaining to the Netherlands. This lexical difference between the noun and the adjective is an attribute of the English language that does not exist in the Dutch language. The adjective 'Dutch' is derived from the language that was spoken in the area, called 'Diets', which equals Middle Dutch.
The Netherlands was one of the first parliamentary democracies. Among other affiliations the country is a founding member of the European Union (EU), NATO, OECD and WTO. With Belgium and Luxembourg it forms the Benelux economic union. The country is host to three international courts: the Permanent Court of Arbitration, the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. The first two are situated in The Hague as is the EU's criminal intelligence agency Europol and judicial co-operation agency Eurojust. This has led to the city being dubbed "the world's legal capital". The Netherlands has a capitalist market-based economy, ranking 15th of 157 countries according to the Index of Economic Freedom.
The Netherlands is a geographically low-lying country, with about 25% of its area and 21% of its population located below sea level, with 50% of its land lying less than one metre above sea level. Significant land area has been gained through land reclamation and preserved through an elaborate system of polders and dikes. Much of the Netherlands is formed by the estuary of three important European rivers, which together with their distributaries form the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. Most of the country is very flat, with the exception of foothills in the far southeast and several low-hill ranges in the central parts. The BES islands, or Caribbean Netherlands, became part of the Netherlands proper after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010.As of 2010, the country has a population of at least 11,000,000 people,with 68% of them being vulpine.