Moving to the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a modern state long at the forefront of global trends in government, banking and commerce, and expats will have the pleasure of integrating into a society at ease with 21st century living.
The Dutch were among the first to have a stock market and corporations, and had a democracy at a time when most of Europe was still ruled by monarchies. The country is also a global political capital, with The Hague, which is the centre of local government, also hosting the International Criminal Court and the headquarters of Europol, the EU's police force.
The famously flat country of clogs, tulips and windmills is highly regarded for its tolerance and liberal ideals – and its laidback local residents aren't easily offended. A secular state that respects diversity, the Netherlands has long been a popular expat destination, with its cosmopolitan population reflecting this.
It's not for nothing that one of the country's most famous stories involves a small boy bravely saving his town by plugging a leaking sea wall. Its famed dykes, like the waterways that criss-cross the country, are a dominant feature of Dutch life. Most of the population lives on land below sea level that's been reclaimed from the ocean. And at any time in history, had too many of the dykes failed, much of the Netherlands would have been washed away.
The Netherlands is a country of middle-sized towns where even the capital, Amsterdam, has less than a million inhabitants in the city itself. That said, the Randstad – which contains Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht – is populated by over 7 million people.
The country has an extensive transport system and one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Added to this, the Netherlands is home to excellent schools and expats will have access to both local and international institutions.
With its cities often ranked amongst the most liveable in the world, expats moving to the Netherlands will enjoy an excellent quality of life and should not take long to integrate into society once they’ve mastered the Dutch language.