The Kingdom of the Netherlands is located in northwestern Europe, bordered by Belgium on the south and Germany on the east and northeast. It is also bordered by the North Sea on the west and northwest. The total area of the Netherlands is 41,526 square kilometers.
The Netherlands was the founding member of the European Union in 1952. The population is 16.4 million as of 20114. One quarter of The Netherlands' area is at or below sea level. Industrial activity consists primarily of chemicals, food processing, petroleum refining and electrical and electronic machinery. The country is well-known for its cut flowers and plants. Famous painters from the Netherlands include Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen and Vincent van Gogh.