Photo description: Kite festival on the beach.

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The European Union has been the renewed focus of attention since 2016, when the United Kingdom voted to leave the Union. Elections to the European Parliament – held every five years – are taking place in May 2019.

Together with the other European statistical offices, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) contributes to a consistent set of statistics on Europe. Eurostat, established in Luxembourg and in charge of these European statistics, collects national and regional statistics from the various member states and publishes these figures via different channels. Eurostat works with the national statistical institutes to make the figures suitable for comparison and ensure they trace new developments.

In this publication, CBS takes a look at how the Netherlands is performing in comparison with other European countries. This entails a selection of topics that cover economic and social developments. A few examples: the Netherlands has one of the highest internet penetration rates, a relatively high life expectancy and low unemployment. Car ownership rates are slightly below the European average while health expenditure is higher; and consumption of sustainable, non-fossil energy sources is relatively low.

Unless otherwise specified, the figures in this publication have been compiled on the basis of the data from CBS and Eurostat as were most recently available at the time of writing. All figures cover the 28 member states of the European Union, including the United Kingdom.

I hope you enjoy reading this publication and invite you to visit or for even more information on the Netherlands and on Europe.

Director General

Dr T.B.P.M. Tjin-A-Tsoi

The Hague/Heerlen/Bonaire, May 2019

Eruropean Union 1 january 2018 FI SE EE L V L T PL DE DK NL BE UK IE L U C Y EL BG RO HU SK CZ A T HR SI M T I T ES P T FR Population x million EU-28 (512.4) BE Belgium (11.4) BG Bulgaria (7.1) CY Cyprus (0.9) DK Denmark (5.8) DE Germany (82.2) EE Estonia (1.3) FI Finland (5.5) FR France (66.9) GR Greece (10.7) HU Hungary (9.8) IE Ireland (4.8) IT Italy (60.5) HR Croatia (4.1) LV Latvia (1.9) LT Lithuania (2.8) LU Luxembourg (0.6) MT Malta (0.5) NL Netherlands (17.2) AT Austria (8.8) PL Poland (38.0) PT Portugal (10.3) RO Romania (19.5) SI Slovenia (2.1) SK Slovakia (5.4) ES Spain (46.7) CZ Czech Republic (10.6) UK United Kingdom (66.3) SE Sweden (10.1)


This web publication was developed by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) in cooperation with Textcetera The Hague.
If you have a question or comment about this publication, please contact us.

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More information (in Dutch only):


Explanation of symbols

empty cell Not applicable
. Data not available
* Provisional figure
** Revised provisional figure
2018-2019 2018 to 2019 inclusive
2018/2019 Average for 2018 to 2019 inclusive
2018/’19 Crop year, financial year, school year, etc., beginning in 2018 and ending in 2019
2016/’17-2018/’19 Crop year, financial year, etc., 2016/’17 to 2018/’19 inclusive

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

About CBS

CBS responds to developments in Dutch society by providing statistical information as facts that matter, and communicates on these facts with the outside world. In doing so, CBS offers insights into current developments in society and helps answer policy questions. Research at CBS is focused on broad trends in society and how these are interrelated.

CBS has offices in The Hague, Heerlen and Bonaire with altogether approximately 2,000 staff. A society-oriented working attitude is essential to CBS. CBS provides figures which are relevant to society. Every year, CBS publishes around 600 statistical studies. Virtually every day, CBS data and figures are communicated to the outside world via news releases, video messages and through social media. This results in some 50,000 articles per year in daily newspapers and on news sites.

For more information on CBS’s tasks, organisation and publications, go to


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