Transport and infrastructure in the Netherlands

Our listing of the primary types of transport compares the infrastructure of the Netherlands with the average of all countries in Europe. Overall, the traffic routes are above average and in good condition.

In terms of the length of its rail network, Netherlands ranks 66th in the world with 0.17 meters per inhabitant. In total, the rail network is 3,058 kilometers long. Freight traffic on the rails most recently totaled 7.19 billion tons and kilometers traveled. Passenger traffic reached 10.90 billion passenger-kilometers in 2021.

The waterways listed refer to inland traffic on rivers and canals. The number of ports includes those located on the 451 km of coastline. In 2020, about 14.52 million freight containers were transported.

Airports in the Netherlands

Back to overview: Netherlands

Road traffic

The network of roads and highways has a total length of 139,124 km. For each of the country's 17.53 million inhabitants, this corresponds to 7.93 meters. This puts Netherlands in 71st place in the global ranking. However, the country's population density must also be taken into account, which is relatively high at around 422 inhabitants per km². The higher the population density of a country, the shorter the average distance traveled.

With an average of 647 traffic fatalities per year (2013 - 2019), road traffic in the Netherlands is considered very safe. This corresponds to 3.8 accident fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year. By comparison, this figure is 12.3 in the USA and 17.0 worldwide.

In the Netherlands, traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road, i.e. people drive in the right-hand lane and overtake on the left. Oncoming traffic comes toward you on the left side. This rule was introduced at the end of the 18th century during the Napoleonic Wars. Here you can also find an overview of all countries with left-hand traffic.



 totalper 1 mio
per km²
Roadways139,100 km7,934.96 km3,348.92 m
Railroads3,100 km174.41 km73.61 m
Waterways6,237 km355.73 km150.13 m
Commercial harbors1,19968.390.029


 total per 1 mio
per km²
Roadways6,708,900 km11,154.38 km1,111.71 m
Railroads258,600 km429.97 km42.85 m
Waterways54,800 km91.17 km9.09 m
Commercial harbors15,27325.390.003

Data sources used

Global Health Observatory Data Repository (World Health Organization)
Internation Union of Railways (UIC)
CIA Factbook
OECD Statistics
Wikipedia (german)
Netherlands: AirportsLargest airports and airlines in the NetherlandsThe 5 biggest airports and 6 airlines in the Netherlands with further information and data with further information on airlines and destinations
Netherlands: ClimateClimate and temperature development in the NetherlandsA climate analysis for the Netherlands incl. temperatures, humidity, rain days per month, hours of sunshine, rainfalls
Ranking: MegacitiesMega cities - the biggest cities all over the worldRanking of the biggest cities worldwide. On top: Shanghai, Chongqing and Beijing