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The Netherlands has an estimated population of 16,491,852 (as of 8 March 2009).[56] It is the 11th most populous country in Europe and the 61st most populous country in the world. Between 1900 and 1950, the country's population almost doubled from 5.1 to 10.0 million people. From 1950 to 2000, the population further increased from 10.0 to 15.9 million people, but the population growth decreased compared to the previous fifty years.[57] The estimated growth rate is currently 0.436% (as of 2008).[58]

The fertility rate in the Netherlands is 1.66 children per woman (as of 2008),[58] which is high compared to many other European countries, but below the 2.1-rate required for natural population replacement. Life expectancy is high in the Netherlands: 79 years for newborn girls and 78 for boys (2007). The country has a migration rate of 2.55 migrants per 1,000 inhabitants.

The majority of the population of the Netherlands are ethnically Dutch. A 2005 estimate counted: 80.9% Dutch, 2.4% Indonesian (Indo-Dutch, South Moluccan), 2.4% German, 2.2% Turkish, 2.0% Surinamese, 1.9% Moroccan, 0.8% Antillean and Aruban, and 6.0% others.[59]

The Dutch are among the tallest people in the world, with an average height of 1.81 metres (5 ft 11 in) for adult males and 1.67 metres (5 ft 6 in) for adult females. People in the south are on average about 2 cm shorter than those in the north.[60]

The Netherlands is the 25th most densely populated country in the world, with 395 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,023 /sq mi)—or 484 inhabitants per square kilometre (1,254 /sq mi) if only the land area is counted. It is the most densely populated country in Europe with a population over 16 million. The Randstad is the country's largest conurbation located in the west of the country and contains the four largest cities: Amsterdam in the province North Holland, Rotterdam and The Hague in the province South Holland, and Utrecht in the province Utrecht. The Randstad has a population of 7 million inhabitants and is the 6th largest metropolitan area in Europe.

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