This guide provides an overview of the Netherlands’ economy, including the country’s primary imports and exports.
Netherlands Economy Overview
Despite having only 17 million inhabitants, the Netherlands is ranked as the 17th largest economy in the world in terms of GDP.
The country is the #7 export economy with annual exports of $550 billion. However, imports of $614 billion mean it has a negative trade balance of -$63.4 billion.
Netherlands’ Top Exports
Here is a breakdown of the most important products exported by the Netherlands, both commodities and other notable exports.
- Refined petroleum – $46.9 billion
- Crude petroleum – $9.73 billion
- Petroleum gas – $7.33 billion
- Cheese – $3.88 billion
- Scrap iron – $3.1 billion
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Other Notable Exports
- Broadcasting equipment – $18.1 billion
- Packaged medicaments – $16.2 billion
- Computers – $11.2 billion
- Office machine parts – $11.2 billion
- Photo lab equipment – $9.81 billion
The Netherlands’ top export destinations are Germany ($111 billion), Belgium-Luxembourg ($71.3 billion), the United Kingdom ($50.7 billion), France ($38.3 billion), and the United States ($25.3 billion).
Netherlands’ Top Imports
Here is a breakdown of the most important products imported by the Netherlands, both commodities and other notable imports.
- Crude petroleum – $55.4 billion
- Refined petroleum – $48 billion
- Petroleum gas – $5.5 billion
- Coal briquettes – $4.54 billion
- Raw aluminum – $4.3 billion
Other Notable Imports
- Broadcasting equipment – $21 billion
- Computers – $17.3 billion
- Packaged medicaments – $16 billion
- Office machine parts – $15.4 billion
- Cars – $13 billion
GDP of the Netherlands
The Netherlands has a GDP of $914 billion according to the latest recorded figures. This equates to a GDP per capita of $53,024. Between 2008 and 2018, the Netherlands ‘ GDP showed a negative growth rate of -$3.62%. Likewise, the GDP per capita declined by -$8.02%.
Details on the Netherlands’ Exports/Imports
Refined petroleum accounts for 8.52% of the Netherlands’ total annual exports. The country is ranked as the fourth-largest exporter with a 6.23% share of an annual global export market worth $753 billion.
There are five main oil refineries in the Netherlands. These refineries are geographically positioned for optimizing inland demand while serving export markets equally efficiently.
The Netherlands is the fifth-largest exporter of scrap iron and enjoys a 7.44% share of an annual export market worth $41.6 billion.
The Netherlands has committed to sustainable agriculture, which means tomato growers are among the farmers in the country who have managed to work toward the goal of producing twice as much food while using half as many resources.
The Netherlands has a 4.81% share of the annual $61.1 billion raw aluminum market and it is the seventh-largest exporter in the world. It is also the fastest-growing importer of raw aluminum, currently ranking in fourth place.
Germany is the biggest destination for the Netherlands’ raw aluminum exports, receiving 40.1% of the $2.94 billion exported by the Dutch.
Interesting Facts About the Netherlands
- About 80% of the world’s flower bulbs originate from the Netherlands.
- The country is the most densely populated in Europe with 17 million people squeezed into 41,500 square kilometers.
- There are estimated to be more bicycles in the country than people.
- About 60% of the land is dedicated to agriculture and horticulture.
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Sources and Further Reading
- All figures are based on OEC 2018 calculations and projections unless otherwise stated.
- Learn more about the state of world government debt from our country debt clock pages.
- See our global economic indicator guide to more than 45 other countries.
- Get our full guide to trading commodities.
All currency is reported in US dollars.