In spite of considerable diversity, Holland as a whole has a somewhat uniform quality. It is a country of 6,100,000 inhabitants, which gives it a density of 600 per square mile and makes it vie with Belgium as the most densely populated country of Europe. In eastern Europe a much lower density leads to overpopulation, but this is by no means true in Holland because of the very intensive use of the land and the well-developed manufacturing and commerce.
The utilization of the land and manufacturing both attain a high level in spite of rather than because of physical conditions aside from climate. Although certain factors such as the central location of the country have influenced this progress, much is due to the energy of the population. This energy is helped by a climate which approaches the human optimum, but it also owes much to the stimulating effect of a constant and successful struggle against nature.
In spite of all this, there are some dangers to be faced in the near future. The excess of imports over exports, to be sure, is made good by invisible income, such as the money earned by shipping and especially the income from foreign investments, particularly those in the Netherlands East Indies. When worldwide unfavorable economic conditions occur, however, they decrease this invisible income. Thus the trade balance becomes more unfavorable, for the country is far from self supporting and must continue to import food and raw materials. Another factor adds to the possible dangers. Holland's exports consist in great part of perishable food sent to surrounding countries. It is for this reason that so much effort is made to utilize the land intensively.