CONSTITUTION AND CAPITAL
Holland is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system, and its government consists of the Queen and ministers. For historical reasons the government and parliament are in The Hague, although Amsterdam is in fact the capital. The Netherlands has a coalition government. Queen Beatrix is the head of state.
HOLLAND OR THE NETHERLANDS?
The Netherlands is often called Holland, because of the role the two western provinces North and South Holland played in its history. This region encompasses Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and other well-known Dutch cities such as Delft, Leiden and Haarlem. However, officially, it is the Kingdom of the Netherlands, consisting of three parts: the Netherlands itself in Western Europe and the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba in the Caribbean.
Dutch is the national language of Holland. However, English is spoken by almost everyone. In addition, many Dutch people speak German and French. Dutch is the mother tongue of well over 21 million Dutch people and Flemish people (Dutch- speaking nationals of Belgium). In addition, some 60.000 people in Northwest France speak a Dutch dialect. On the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, which islands are a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and in the former Dutch colony of Surinam, Dutch is used in government institutions and in schools. Because of the historical ties, many lawyers and historians in Indonesia speak Dutch. Dutch was the basis for Afrikaans, the language spoken in South Africa. Dutch has also influenced other languages, as shipping, agriculture and hydraulic engineering terms in various languages testify.
Holland is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It has a population of sixteen million and an average of 481 inhabitants per square kilometer.
Holland is quite small, the surface area is 41,528 square kilometres (16034 square miles). The greatest distance from north to south is 300 kilometres (186 miles), and from west to east 200 kilometres (124 miles).