Netherlands is the main country of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Western Europe and with several Caribbean islands. Germany and Belgium are the neighboring countries. Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands. The Hague and Rotterdam are other main cities. As the name indicates, about half of the country lies below sea level. Most of the country is very flat except foothills in the far southeast and the low-hill ranges in the central part.
Dutch is the official language of Netherlands. It was one of the first countries to have an elected parliament. Netherlands hosts the organization for the prohibition of Chemical Weapons and five international courts. Netherlands' economy is capitalist market based, ranking 13th of 157 countries according to the index of economic freedom. In 2011 the Netherlands was ranked as the happiest country by the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development.
Three rivers (the Rhine, the Waal and the Meuse) divide the country in two main parts as north and south. The European area of the country lies between latitudes 50 degrees and 54 degrees N, and longitudes 3 degrees and 8 degrees E.