The Netherlands

Brendan Barbara

Overall Score: 73.7 World Rank: 17

The Netherlands Quick Facts/United States


  • Population: 16.8 Million / 316.4 Million
  • GDP: $700.4 Billion / $16.8 Trillion
  • GDP Growth: -0.8% / 1.9%
  • GDP Per Capita: $47,711/ $53,101
  • Unemployment: 6.7% / 7.5%
  • Inflation: 2.6% / 1.5%
  • Foreign Direct Investment: $24.4 Billion / $187.5 Billion

Legal System

Effective anti-corruption laws have created a government with integrity, and the public does not tolerate any forms of graft. Property rights are the second freest in the world and the legal framework strongly enforces contracts.

Competitive Markets

As a member of the European Union, they hold a 1% average tariff rate and is open to external trade. A competitive financial sector gives a wide range of financing options. Long history of global commerce.

Limits of Government Regulation

It takes four days and four procedures to start a business on average and there is no required minimum capital. However, completing license requirements can be time consuming and the non-salary cost of employing a worker are high.

An Efficient Capital Market

The Netherlands generally treat foreign and domestic investors allowing a comparative advantage over those who do not. More importantly, The Netherlands investment regimes are second freest in the world, providing a foundation of economic freedom.

Monetary Freedom

Monetary stability in the Netherlands has been well maintained over time. Adding to this, being a member of the European Union, they use the Euro like much of Europe.

Low Tax Rates

Top individual tax rate is 52% and top corporate tax rate is 25%. There is also a value-added tax, environmental tax, and inheritance tax. Overall tax revenue is 38.6% of domestic income and government expenditure is 50.4% of domestic output.

Free Trade

Its port of Rotterdam is among the busiest in the world and serves as a primary entry point for goods to Europe. However, in the past 5 years, the country's traditional commitment to the free market has declined but is still higher than most countries in the world.
Dutch And Polish Solutions For A Common Future | Netherlands Economy
This video shows the economic link between the Netherlands and Poland and their hopes for the future.

Other Facts

  • The Netherlands have long been one of the richest countries in the world. Its GDP per capita was estimated to be the highest in the world in 1820. Today it ranks fourth highest in the European Union
  • Has the highest level of foreign direct investment per capita in the world
  • Its seaport of Rotterdam was once the largest in the world
  • Cannabis, "magic mushrooms," and prostitution are all legal in the Netherlands