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Economy of the Netherlands
CurrencyEuro (EUR, €)
Calendar year
Trade organisations
Country group
Population17,589,513 (6 January 2022)[3]
  • $1.14 trillion (nominal; 2024)[4]
  • $1.32 trillion (PPP; 2024)[4]
GDP rank
GDP growth
  • 4.3% (2022)
  • 0.1% (2023)
  • 0.6% (2024)[4]
GDP per capita
  • $63,750 (nominal, 2024)[4]
  • $74,158 (PPP, 2024)[4]
GDP per capita rank
GDP by sector
4.1% (2023)[4]
Population below poverty line
  • 5% (2017 est.)[6]
  • 16.5% at risk of poverty or social exclusion (AROPE, 2019)[7]
26.8 low (2019)[8]
Labour force
  • 9,181,373 (2019)[11]
  • 79.2% employment rate (2018)[12]
Labour force by occupation
  • 2.9% (October 2021)[13]
  • 6.9% youth unemployment (October 2021; 15 to 24 year-olds)[13]
Average gross salary
€4,191 monthly
€3,145 monthly
Main industries
Agriculture, oil and natural gas, metal and engineering products, electronic machinery and equipment, chemicals, petroleum, construction, microelectronics, fishing
Exports$719.78 billion (2020)[5]
Export goods
refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment, machinery, packaged medicine, crude petroleum (2022)
Main export partners
Imports$453.8 billion (2017)[5]
Import goods
crude petroleum, refined petroleum, natural gas, broadcasting equipment, computers (2022)
Main import partners
FDI stock
  • $5.499 trillion (2017)[5]
  • Abroad: $6.579 trillion (2017)[5]
$90.207 billion (2019)[5]
$4.345 trillion (2019)[5]
Public finances
  • 48.6% of GDP (2019)[14]
  • €394.630 billion (2019)[14]
  • €14.0 billion surplus (2019)[14]
  • +1.7% of GDP (2019)[14]
Revenues43.6% of GDP (2019)[14]
Expenses41.9% of GDP (2019)[14]
Economic aid
$54.016 billion (2021)[5] (41st)

All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.
Dutch exports in 2006
The labour productivity level of the Netherlands is one of highest in Europe. OECD, 2012
Part-time employment rate (%) in OECD countries.[20] The Netherlands has the highest rate.

The economy of the Netherlands is a highly developed market economy focused on trade and logistics, manufacturing, services, innovation and technology and sustainable and renewable energy.[21][22] It is the world's 18th largest economy by nominal GDP and the 28th largest by purchasing power parity (PPP) and is the fifth largest economy in European Union by nominal GDP.[23] It has the world's 11th highest per capita GDP (nominal) and the 13th highest per capita GDP (PPP) as of 2023 making it one of the highest earning nations in the world. Many of the world's largest tech companies are based in its capital Amsterdam or have established their European headquarters in the city, such as IBM, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Cisco, Uber, Netflix and Tesla.[24][25] Its second largest city Rotterdam is a major trade, logistics and economic center of the world and is Europe's largest seaport.[26] Netherlands is ranked fifth on global innovation index and fourth on the Global Competitiveness Report. Among OECD nations, Netherlands has a highly efficient and strong social security system; social expenditure stood at roughly 25.3% of GDP.[27][28][29]

The Netherlands has a prosperous and open economy, which depends heavily on foreign trade. The economy is noted for stable industrial relations, fairly low unemployment and inflation, a sizable current account surplus (which, compared to the size of the country, is even more than Germany) and an important role as a European transportation hub; Rotterdam is the biggest port in Europe; and Amsterdam has one of the biggest airports in the world. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, high-tech, financial services, the creative sector and electrical machinery. Its highly mechanized agricultural sector employs no more than 2% of the labor force but provides large surpluses for the food-processing industry and for exports. The Netherlands, along with 11 of its EU partners, began circulating the euro currency on 1 January 2002.

The Netherlands has had steady natural gas resources since 1959, when a wellspring was discovered. Currently the Netherlands accounts for more than 25% of all natural gas reserves in the European Union. Over the following decades, the sale of natural gas generated a significant rise in revenue for the Netherlands.[30] However, the unforeseen consequences of the country's energy wealth originally impacted the competitiveness of other sectors of the economy, leading to the theory of Dutch disease, after the discovery of the vast Groningen gas field.[30]

The Netherlands is a "conduit country" that helps to funnel profits from high-tax countries to tax havens.[31] It has been ranked as the 4th largest tax haven in the World.[32]

The stern financial was abandoned in 2009, because of the then-current credit crises. The relatively large banking sector was partly nationalized and bailed out through government interventions. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.0% in the summer of 2011, but increased with a sharp rate to 7.3% in May 2013, and 6.8% in 2015. It dropped again to 3.9% in March 2018.[33][34] The state budget deficit was about 2.2% in 2015, well below the norm of 3.0% in the EU.[35] In 2016, the state budget showed a surplus of 0.4%. It was expected to grow to a surplus of over 1.0% in 2017.[36] Historically, the Dutch introduced and invented the stock market,[37] which initially focused on merchandise trading through the Dutch East India Company. The Netherlands is a founding member of the European Union, the OECD and the World Trade Organization.


See also: Economic history of the Netherlands (1500–1815) and Financial history of the Dutch Republic

After declaring its independence from the empire of Philip II of Spain in 1581, the Netherlands experienced almost a century of explosive economic growth. A technological revolution in shipbuilding and trade knowledge and capital, due to Protestant traders of Flanders who fled to the Netherlands, helped the young Republic become the dominant trade power by the mid-17th century. In 1670 the Dutch merchant marine totalled 568,000 tons of shipping—about half the European total. The main reasons for this were the dominance of the Amsterdam Entrepôt in European trade, and that of the Dutch East India Company (or Verenigde Oost-Indische Companie – VOC) and West India Companies in intercontinental trade. Unique was that the V.O.C. was the first multinational, while its shares were traded at the Amsterdam stock exchange, one of the first in the world. Beside trade, an early "industrial revolution" (powered by wind, water and peat), land reclamation from the sea, and agricultural revolution, helped the Dutch economy achieve the highest standard of living in Europe (and presumably the world) by the middle of the 17th century. Affluence facilitated what is known as the Dutch Golden Age. This economic boom abruptly came to an end by a combination of political-military upheavals and adverse economic developments around 1670. Still the Netherlands kept a high level of prosperity, due to trade and agriculture.

Towards the 1800s, the Netherlands did not industrialize as rapidly as some other countries in Europe. One explanation for this is that the Netherlands were struggling to come to terms with having lost their dominant economical (based mainly on trade and agriculture) and political position in the world. Griffiths argues that government policies made possible a unified Dutch national economy in the 19th century. They included the abolition of internal tariffs and guilds; a unified coinage system; modern methods of tax collection; standardized weights and measures; and the building of many roads, canals, and railroads.

The rest of Europe in the 19th century saw the gradual transformation of the Netherlands into a modern middle-class industrial society. The number of people employed in agriculture decreased while the country made an effort to revive its stake in the highly competitive industrial and trade business. The Netherlands lagged behind Belgium until the late 19th century in industrialization, then caught up by about 1920. Major industries included textiles and (later) the great Philips industrial conglomerate. Rotterdam became a major shipping and manufacturing center.[38] Poverty slowly declined and begging largely disappeared along with steadily improving working conditions for the population.

Since 1959, the Netherlands discovered large natural gas fields. The export of natural gas led to large windfall profits. However, as an unforeseen consequence, these were believed to have led to a decline in the manufacturing sector in the Netherlands.[39]


While the private sector is the cornerstone of the Dutch economy, governments at different levels have a large part to play. Public spending, excluding social security transfer payments, was at 28% of GDP in 2011.[40] Total tax revenue was 38.7% of GDP in 2010,[41] which was below the EU average.[42] In addition to its own spending, the government plays a significant role through the permit requirements and regulations pertaining to almost every aspect of economic activity. The government combines a rigorous and stable microeconomic policy with wide-ranging structural and regulatory reforms. The government has gradually reduced its role in the economy since the 1980s. Privatization and deregulation is still continuing. With regards to social and economic policy, the government cooperates with its so called social partners (trade unions and employers' organizations). The three parties come together in the Social-Economic Council (‘Sociaal Economische Raad’), the main platform for social dialogue.

Social security system

The Dutch social security is very comprehensive, covering Dutch residents in an encompassing manner and is divided into the national security (Volksverzekering) and the employee insurance (Werknemersverzekering). Whereas the first covers all living in the Netherlands and the social benefits provided, the latter provides employment-related benefits.[43] All living in the Netherlands are required to pay into the social security system, including residents from outside the Netherlands, with a few exceptions.[44]

The Volksverzekering is compulsory for all and covers the residents under different forms of national insurance:[45][46]

It is overseen by the Social Insurance Bank (Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB)) and financed through earning-related contributions of employers and employees up until a maximum income-ceiling. Whilst employed persons get their contribution deducted automatically from their wage, the unemployed pay by themselves. The AKW is financed by employers, whereas the AOW is financed by the employees. The AOW, additionally, is financed by a small government subsidy.

The Werknemersverzekering is compulsory for all employed people within the Netherlands. It includes the coverage of employees in the following areas:

The financing for the Werknemersverzekering is automatically deducted from the employee's income by the employer.[45][46]

Unemployment benefits


The unemployment benefits in the Netherlands, as set out under the WW, covers almost all employees, that are employees based on a working-contract. Excluded from the WW are the following: self-employed, nationally employed, persons working less than four days a week, heads of stockholders and voluntary workers that earn up to €150 per year.[43][46]

Right to benefits

To profit from the benefit the unemployed has to submit an application to the Employee Insurance Agency (Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemersverzekeringen (UWV)) within one week of becoming unemployed and additionally has to register as job-seeker. The WW only covers employees with a sufficient work history, meaning that an applicant has to have been working for at least 26 weeks in the past 36 weeks before becoming unemployed. If so, the working-weeks requirement is met. Moreover, the employee is only eligible to unemployment benefits if the unemployment has not been due to his own fault (e.g. own termination of the job contract).[43][46]


The benefits received through the WW are earnings-related and amount to a sum of 75% percent of the previous earnings per day (which is based on 5 working days per week) for the duration of two months. After those two months the benefits amount to 70%. Part-time work is taken into account with a calculation of parts of the working hours. If this benefit is less than the minimum income, the unemployed has the possibility of supplementation through the Additional Allowances Act (Toeslagenwet) to sum up the amount. All jobs in the previous twelve months are counted in to the calculation of the benefits, if a change of work has taken place. To obtain the benefits for a continued time, the unemployed needs to be actively looking for work. Moreover, one needs to participate in e-coaching three and twelve months after the start of unemployment. After one year of unemployment one must register with an employment agency.[44][46][45]

Controversial issues

Labour market and social welfare

The Dutch labour market has relatively strict regulations for employers on firing employees, although by June 2014 the House of Representatives has agreed to loosen these regulations.[needs update] Due to the costs of employees and costs of firing them, a big part of the working force (about 15% of the working force) is an independent one person company (ZZP). They are independent and get paid by delivery without higher social costs.[clarification needed] Another big part of the workforce is hired as temporary workforce. State unemployment benefits in the form of a 70% benefit of the employee's last-earned salary for up to three years (with a maximum of roughly 2500 euros per month) are available for fired employees, provided that they have worked for a certain minimum time period, usually 26 weeks. Moreover, the self-employed individuals (zelfstandigen zonder personeel (ZZP)) are not automatically covered under the Werknemersverzekeringen, and are not obligated to enroll into unemployment, sickness or disabilities insurance. Self-employed individuals, hence, are required to enroll themselves with private insurance companies.[45][47]

Age of retirement

Every Dutch citizen gets according to the AOW act of 1956, a state pension, from the age of 65. The act was amended in 2012 that makes the age in several stages up to 67 years in 2024 . Married couples or those who live together receive 50% of minimum wage per person and a single person receives 70% of minimum wage. Most (about 70%) earn an extra pension from private pension funds. Employees are obliged to take part in the sector pension funds.[clarification needed] In total the amount of pension funds were at the end of 2009 some 664 billion euro and at the end of 2019 1560 billion euro for a bit more than 17 million people. Employees receive on average about 70% of their last salary. During the economic crisis[which?] and because of low interest rates, pensions funds have had difficulty keeping up with inflation.

Inequality and redistribution

With a Gini coefficient of 25.1 (2013) the income inequality is relatively low in the Netherlands. However, the inequality when measured in distributions of household wealth is high, where the top 1% owns 24% of all net wealth, and the top 10% own 60%. Moreover, rather large wealth disparities persist in the Netherlands in relation to age, where those under 35 years-of-age own 10% as much as older workers. This is a consequence from the low taxation of home ownership and a generous mortgage interest deductibility, which benefit the wealthier households.[48] Due to the generous pensions the pension-related savings are the most important part of wealth in the Netherlands, yet are not subject to capital income taxation, which increases the inequality. The taxation comes as income tax when the saved pension is paid out. People having earned minimum wages only, will not build up any pension. The idea behind a pension is to have a net income after retirement that is comparable to before retirement. The AOW, the Dutch retirement law, guarantees an income up to 70% of minimum wage per person. Therefore, only people earning more than minimum wage need to save to ensure comparable income after retirement.

Home mortgage interest deduction

The Netherlands was[when?] one of the few countries in the world where the interest paid on mortgages is almost fully deductible from income tax. Since 2013 big changes were made. The conditions allowing a borrowing of more than 116% of the value of the home were reduced to 106% and are still continuously being reduced every year. The deduction is also capped to 50.5% and reducing every year.[49] Together with the after-effects of the financial crisis of 2007–2008 the result was a housing crisis, with a decrease of prices almost 25% percent in some areas. Recent years have shown a recovery of 10% to even 20% per year in the most popular cities.

The Service sector accounts for more than half of the national income, primarily in transportation, distribution and logistics, financial areas, software development and the creative industry. The breadth of service providers in financial services has contributed to the Netherlands achieving a DAW Index score of 5 in 2012. Industrial activity is dominated by the machinery, electronics/high tech industry, metalworking, oil refining, chemical, and food-processing industries. Construction amounts to about 6% of GDP. Agriculture and fishing, although visible and traditional Dutch activities, account for just 2%.

The Netherlands continues to be one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment and is one of the five largest investors in the United States. The economy experienced a slowdown in 2005, but in 2006 recovered to the fastest pace in six years on the back of increased exports[50] and strong investment. The pace of job growth reached 10-year highs in 2007. The Netherlands is the fifth-most competitive economy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report.[51]

Primary sector


In 2018, in addition to smaller productions of other agricultural products,[52] the Netherlands produced:[53]

Energy sector

Main article: Energy in the Netherlands

Natural gas

See also: Dutch disease

Natural gas concessions in the Netherlands. Today the Netherlands accounts for more than 25% of all Natural Gas reserves in the EU.
Station Wildervank of the Groningen natural gas field, which transformed the Netherlands economy after its discovery in 1959, leading to the theory of Dutch disease

The discovery of the large Groningen natural gas field in 1959 and the massive windfalls accrued over subsequent decades, were believed to have led to a decline in the manufacturing sector in the Netherlands,[39] leading to the theory of Dutch disease.[30]

While its oil reserves in the North Sea are of little importance, the Netherlands have an estimated 25% of natural gas reserves in the EU.[54] Natural gas reserves of the Netherlands are estimated (as of 2014) to be about 600 billion cubic feet,[55] or about 0.3% of the world total. In 2014–2015 the government decided to reduce the production of gas in the province Groningen significantly due to problems of sinking ground, differential settlement levels and tremors (small earth quakes) causing damages to properties, end 2018 the government decided to completely abandon the gas production in the province of Groningen by reducing the production slightly each year, the production was expected to come to a halt entirely by 2028.[56] On June 23, 2023, the government decided to close the remaining five production facilities as of October 1, 2023. The possibility of reopening one or more facilities is being kept open, citing the uncertain international situation and possibly very cold weather as possible reasons for this. All wells will be permanently closed and dismantled as of October 1, 2024. [57]

To reduce its greenhouse emissions, the government of the Netherlands is subsidizing a transition away from natural gas for all homes in the country by 2050.[58] In the Netherlands, 98% of enterprises are reducing greenhouse gas emissions, beating the EU average of 89%. However, only 48% of Dutch firms set and monitor their own emission targets.[59] Dutch enterprises mostly cut emissions through waste reduction or recycling (86%), as well as energy efficiency programmes (76%).[60][61]

In the Netherlands, 78% of enterprises have invested in reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the impact of weather disasters as of 2023. Six out of ten (60%) plan to invest in these areas during the next three years. The numbers for 'already invested' and 'intend to invest' above the EU average (56% and 54%, respectively).[62] The largest invested is in trash reduction or recycling (86% of Dutch firms).[63]

Dutch companies are more likely to see the transition to stronger climate laws as an opportunity (39% vs 23% from other European firms).[64]

Nuclear energy

Further information: Nuclear energy in the Netherlands

Researchers in the Netherlands began studying nuclear energy in the 1930s and began construction of research reactor Dodewaard in 1955. Researchers’ goal was to introduce nuclear power technology by 1962 and replace fossil fuels. In 1968, a test nuclear reactor was attached to the power grid. This unit was shut down in 1997. In the 1970s, the Dutch chose a policy that required reprocessing all spent nuclear fuel. In 1984, the government decided to create a long-term (100 years) storage facility for all intermediate and low-level radioactive waste and research strategies for ultimate disposal. In September 2003, the Central Organization for Radioactive Waste created an interim storage facility for high-level waste. The Netherlands' only commercial nuclear reactor is Borssele, which became operational in 1973 and as of 2011 produces about 4% of the country's electricity.[65] The older Dodewaard nuclear power plant was a test reactor that later got attached to the national grid but was closed in 1997. A 2MW research reactor known as Reactor Institute Delft (RID) is located in Delft, as part of the physics department of Delft University of Technology. This reactor is not meant for energy provision but used as a neutron and positron source for research.

In 1994, the States General of the Netherlands voted to phase out nuclear power after a discussion of nuclear waste management. In 1997, the power station at Dodewaard was shut down and the government decided it was planning to end Borssele's operating license in 2003. This has since been postponed to 2034, if it complied with the highest safety standards.[citation needed] After the 2010 election, the new government was open to expanding nuclear power. Both of the companies that share ownership of Borssele are proposing to build new reactors.[66][67] In January 2012, Delta announced it postpones any decision to start building a second nuclear power plant.


In 2011, the Netherlands was visited by 11.3 million foreign tourists.[68] In 2012, the Dutch tourism industry contributed 5.4% in total to the country's GDP and 9.6% in total to its employment. With its global ranking of 147th and 83rd place for total contribution to respectively GDP and employment, tourism is a relatively small sector of the Dutch economy.[69] North Holland was by far the most popular province for foreign tourists in 2011. Out of all 11.3 million tourists, 6 million visited North Holland. South Holland took the second place with 1.4 million. Germans, Britons and Belgians made up the majority of foreign tourists, respectively 3, 1.5 and 1.4 million.[70] As of 2020, there are nine World Heritage Sites in the Netherlands. The Netherlands are well known for their art and rich historical heritage.


The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2021 (with IMF staff estimates in 2022–2027). Inflation under 5% is in green. [71]

Year GDP

(in Bil. US$PPP)

GDP per capita

(in US$ PPP)


(in Bil. US$nominal)

GDP per capita

(in US$ nominal)

GDP growth


Inflation rate

(in Percent)


(in Percent)

Government debt

(in % of GDP)

1980 165.0 11,708.1 193.8 13,750.5 n/a n/a 3.4% 43.6%
1981 Increase179.7 Increase12,644.4 Decrease162.4 Decrease11,429.7 Decrease-0.5% Negative increase6.8% Negative increase4.6% Negative increase46.9%
1982 Increase188.3 Increase13,181.8 Decrease157.3 Decrease11,013.6 Decrease-1.3% Negative increase5.9% Negative increase6.5% Negative increase52.5%
1983 Increase199.1 Increase13,886.6 Decrease153.2 Decrease10,682.3 Increase1.8% Increase2.9% Negative increase8.3% Negative increase58.5%
1984 Increase212.7 Increase14,779.7 Decrease142.6 Decrease9,905.0 Increase3.1% Increase3.4% Positive decrease8.1% Negative increase62.0%
1985 Increase225.3 Increase15,587.9 Increase144.7 Increase10,008.0 Increase2.7% Increase2.3% Positive decrease7.3% Negative increase67.2%
1986 Increase237.0 Increase16,313.5 Increase201.6 Increase13,875.2 Increase3.1% n/a Positive decrease6.5% Negative increase69.0%
1987 Increase247.4 Increase16,926.4 Increase246.9 Increase16,895.4 Increase1.9% Increase-1.0% Positive decrease6.3% Negative increase71.4%
1988 Increase267.8 Increase18,202.4 Increase264.2 Increase17,956.1 Increase4.6% Increase0.5% Positive decrease6.2% Negative increase73.8%
1989 Increase290.8 Increase19,643.3 Decrease260.5 Decrease17,597.3 Increase4.5% Increase1.1% Positive decrease5.7% Steady73.8%
1990 Increase314.3 Increase21,105.3 Increase321.4 Increase21,581.6 Increase4.2% Increase2.5% Positive decrease5.1% Negative increase75.1%
1991 Increase332.9 Increase22,178.4 Increase331.1 Increase22,057.8 Increase2.5% Increase3.2% Positive decrease4.8% Positive decrease74.9%
1992 Increase345.9 Increase22,863.5 Increase366.0 Increase24,192.0 Increase1.6% Increase2.8% Negative increase4.9% Negative increase75.7%
1993 Increase358.6 Increase23,530.1 Decrease355.9 Decrease23,356.3 Increase1.3% Increase1.6% Negative increase5.5% Negative increase76.8%
1994 Increase377.3 Increase24,590.5 Increase382.6 Increase24,935.5 Increase3.0% Increase2.1% Negative increase6.2% Positive decrease73.6%
1995 Increase395.8 Increase25,664.2 Increase452.7 Increase29,350.8 Increase2.8% Increase1.3% Negative increase7.7% Positive decrease72.2%
1996 Increase417.2 Increase26,925.6 Decrease450.6 Decrease29,084.1 Increase3.5% Increase1.4% Positive decrease7.1% Positive decrease70.5%
1997 Increase442.7 Increase28,440.8 Decrease417.3 Decrease26,808.4 Increase4.3% Increase1.9% Positive decrease6.1% Positive decrease64.9%
1998 Increase468.6 Increase29,936.1 Increase438.6 Increase28,018.7 Increase4.7% Increase1.8% Positive decrease4.9% Positive decrease61.7%
1999 Increase499.1 Increase31,671.1 Increase447.5 Increase28,393.8 Increase5.0% Increase2.0% Positive decrease4.1% Positive decrease57.5%
2000 Increase531.9 Increase33,528.1 Decrease417.7 Decrease26,327.9 Increase4.2% Increase2.3% Positive decrease3.7% Positive decrease50.9%
2001 Increase556.5 Increase34,811.4 Increase431.6 Increase26,996.2 Increase2.3% Negative increase5.1% Positive decrease3.1% Positive decrease48.2%
2002 Increase566.4 Increase35,170.5 Increase473.5 Increase29,402.0 Increase0.2% Increase3.9% Negative increase3.7% Positive decrease47.5%
2003 Increase578.5 Increase35,727.5 Increase579.9 Increase35,814.3 Increase0.2% Increase2.2% Negative increase5.9% Negative increase48.7%
2004 Increase605.8 Increase37,263.5 Increase658.1 Increase40,477.3 Increase2.0% Increase1.4% Negative increase6.8% Negative increase49.1%
2005 Increase637.6 Increase39,104.4 Increase685.7 Increase42,054.9 Increase2.0% Increase1.5% Negative increase7.0% Positive decrease48.5%
2006 Increase680.0 Increase41,633.3 Increase734.0 Increase44,936.0 Increase3.5% Increase1.7% Positive decrease6.1% Positive decrease44.1%
2007 Increase724.8 Increase44,306.7 Increase848.7 Increase51,880.4 Increase3.8% Increase1.6% Positive decrease5.3% Positive decrease42.0%
2008 Increase754.7 Increase46,003.9 Increase951.8 Increase58,015.4 Increase2.2% Increase2.2% Positive decrease4.8% Negative increase53.8%
2009 Decrease731.7 Decrease44,383.2 Decrease870.6 Decrease52,807.4 Decrease-3.7% Increase1.0% Negative increase5.4% Negative increase55.8%
2010 Increase750.4 Increase45,274.1 Decrease848.1 Decrease51,165.8 Increase1.3% Increase0.9% Negative increase6.1% Negative increase59.4%
2011 Increase777.9 Increase46,703.3 Increase905.1 Increase54,342.1 Increase1.6% Increase2.5% Steady6.1% Negative increase61.8%
2012 Increase792.0 Increase47,341.6 Decrease839.5 Decrease50,175.6 Decrease-1.0% Increase2.8% Negative increase6.8% Negative increase66.4%
2013 Increase827.5 Increase49,314.5 Increase877.2 Increase52,277.0 Decrease-0.1% Increase2.6% Negative increase8.2% Negative increase67.8%
2014 Increase830.3 Increase49,337.7 Increase892.4 Increase53,026.5 Increase1.4% Increase0.3% Negative increase8.3% Negative increase68.0%
2015 Increase852.1 Increase50,418.7 Decrease765.7 Decrease45,302.8 Increase2.0% Increase0.2% Positive decrease7.9% Positive decrease64.6%
2016 Increase890.4 Increase52,440.8 Increase783.8 Increase46,165.2 Increase2.2% Increase0.1% Positive decrease7.0% Positive decrease61.9%
2017 Increase948.2 Increase55,509.3 Increase833.6 Increase48,799.9 Increase2.9% Increase1.3% Positive decrease5.9% Positive decrease56.9%
2018 Increase993.8 Increase57,839.9 Increase914.5 Increase53,224.7 Increase2.4% Increase1.6% Positive decrease4.9% Positive decrease52.4%
2019 Increase1,031.3 Increase59,674.9 Decrease910.3 Decrease52,672.5 Increase2.0% Increase2.7% Positive decrease4.4% Positive decrease48.5%
2020 Decrease1,002.9 Decrease57,612.5 Decrease909.1 Decrease52,222.4 Decrease-3.9% Increase1.1% Negative increase4.9% Negative increase54.6%
2021 Increase1,095.4 Increase62,685.0 Increase1,013.5 Increase57,996.9 Increase4.9% Increase2.8% Positive decrease4.2% Positive decrease52.3%
2022 Increase1,226.7 Increase69,714.5 Decrease990.6 Decrease56,297.8 Increase4.5% Negative increase12.0% Positive decrease3.5% Positive decrease48.3%
2023 Increase1,280.5 Increase72,363.5 Increase1,019.8 Increase57,628.6 Increase0.8% Negative increase8.0% Negative increase3.9% Positive decrease46.4%
2024 Increase1,329.6 Increase74,842.4 Increase1,077.0 Increase60,620.9 Increase1.7% Increase2.7% Negative increase4.0% Positive decrease45.6%
2025 Increase1,376.0 Increase77,235.7 Increase1,125.5 Increase63,173.5 Increase1.6% Increase2.3% Negative increase4.2% Negative increase46.2%
2026 Increase1,424.2 Increase79,717.7 Increase1,173.5 Increase65,684.3 Increase1.6% Increase2.0% Negative increase4.4% Negative increase47.2%
2027 Increase1,474.1 Increase82,280.9 Increase1,223.4 Increase68,285.1 Increase1.5% Increase2.0% Negative increase4.6% Negative increase48.1%


In 2022, the sector with the highest number of companies registered in Netherlands is Services with 761,749 companies followed by Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate and Retail Trade with 693,255 and 101,025 companies respectively.[72]

In the Netherlands, 91% of enterprises say they have invested appropriately during the past three years (2023 - 2020). This beats the EU average at 82%.[73] Compared to other enterprises in the EU, Dutch firms prioritise new goods or services (26% vs. 34% for replacement). In keeping with the EU average of 10%, just 7% of enterprises in the Netherlands do not plan to invest.[74] Dutch companies were hurt by the energy crisis in 2022 - 2023, albeit to a lower extent than those elsewhere in the EU. While most companies are concerned about energy prices, just 30% consider it a critical issue. This is half of the EU average (59%).[75][76]

Dutch firms face significant long-term hurdles to investment, including a lack of trained people (71%), and high energy prices (66%). Barriers are diminishing, with numbers lower than the EU average and than 2021. For example, the availability of funding is less of an impediment than across the EU (23% versus 44%).[77]

In 2023, one in ten Dutch enterprises (13%) brought new goods, processes, or services to the Dutch or global market.[78] Majority of Dutch firms are also more technologically oriented than EU peers - almost eight out of ten Dutch firms (78%) employed at least one digital technology in 2023. The EU average is 70%. The majority of Dutch firms utilise digital platform technologies (59%), robots (56%), and the Internet of Things (55%), whereas just a small percentage use 3D printing (19%) or augmented/VR technology (15%).[79]

Largest companies

See also: List of largest companies of the Netherlands

The Netherlands is home to several large multinationals. Well-known multinationals are Heineken, Ahold, Philips, TomTom, Randstad and ING, all of which have their headquarters in Amsterdam. Thousands of companies of non-Dutch origin have their headquarters in the Netherlands, like EADS, LyondellBasell and IKEA, because of attractive corporate tax levels.[citation needed]

The Netherlands' biggest companies in the Fortune Global 500 as of 2022 are as following:

Rank Fortune 500
Name Industry Revenue
(USD millions)
(USD millions)
(USD millions)
Employees Headquarters
Increase1 Increase29 Stellantis Automotive 176,663.0 16,789.1 195,297.9 281,595 Amsterdam
Increase2 Increase115 Ahold Delhaize Retail 89,385.6 2,655.5 51,974.5 259,000 Zaandam
Increase3 Increase200 Aegon Financial services 63,662.7 2,341.0 532,402.5 22,271 The Hague
Decrease3 Decrease207 Airbus Aerospace and defense 61,657.5 4,981.2 121,712.4 126,495 Leiden
Increase4 Increase276 Louis Dreyfus Company Food production 49,569.0 697.0 23,626.0 15,737 Rotterdam
Increase5 Increase287 INGKA Holding Retail 47,545.8 1,887.1 65,010.9 174,225 Leiden
Increase6 Increase305 LyondellBasell Chemicals 46,173.0 5,610.0 36,742.0 19,100 Rotterdam
Decrease7 Decrease425 ING Group Banking 33,851.4 7,036.1 1,079,297.3 57,660 Amsterdam
Increase8 Increase477 X5 Group Retail 29,921.7 580.0 17,164.8 340,928 The Hague
Decrease9 Decrease491 Randstad Holding Consulting 29,126.8 908.0 12,552.5 39,530 Diemen

Mergers and acquisitions

In the Netherlands 22,484 deals were conducted between 1985 and 2018. This sums to an overall value of 2,226.6 billion USD. The year with the most deals has been 2000 with 1,169 deals. However, the most value added up in 2007 with almost 394.9 followed by a drastic slump during the world financial crisis.[80]

Here is a list of the most important deals in, into and out of the Netherlands.

Date announced Acquiror name Acquiror mid-industry Acquiror nation Target name Target mid-industry Target nation Value of transaction ($mil)
25 April 2007 RFS Holdings BV Other Financials Netherlands ABN-AMRO Holding NV Banks Netherlands 98,189.19
19 March 2007 Barclays PLC Banks United Kingdom ABN-AMRO Holding NV Banks Netherlands 92,606.80
28 October 2004 Royal Dutch Petroleum Co Oil & Gas Netherlands Shell Transport & Trading Co Oil & Gas United Kingdom 74,558.58
4 August 2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC Petrochemicals Netherlands BG Group PLC Oil & Gas United Kingdom 69,445.02
2 March 2016 CNAC Saturn (NL) BV Chemicals Netherlands Syngenta AG Chemicals Switzerland 41,840.11
27 January 2006 Mittal Steel Co NV Metals & Mining Netherlands Arcelor SA Metals & Mining Luxembourg 32,240.47
3 September 2017 PPG Industries Inc Chemicals United States Akzo Nobel NV Chemicals Netherlands 26,560.76
4 August 2015 Royal Dutch Shell PLC Petrochemicals Netherlands Royal Dutch Shell PLC Petrochemicals Netherlands 25,000.00
29 September 2008 The Netherlands National Government Netherlands Fortis Bank Nederland(Holding) Banks Netherlands 23,137.31
10 April 2010 VimpelCom Ltd Wireless Netherlands Weather Investments Srl Telecommunications Services Italy 22,382.31

Caribbean Netherlands

The wider Dutch Kingdom

See also


Further reading


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