Netherlands means “the low lands”, and on average the country is 1 meter above sea level. It is also called Holland. The Netherlands was first consolidated in 1519, and in 1581 some provinces declared independence as the Dutch Republic. The Dutch Empire established the colony of New Amsterdam, later known as New York. It later became the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and is now a constitutional monarchy.
It has an area of 41,543 sq km, a population of 16.8 million, and a very high HDI of 0.921.
The Netherlands was ranked the happiest country in the world in 2011. Flooding and rising sea levels is a concern for its coastlines and islands.