It freely borrows words and technical terms from French and especially English.Dutch is also the official language in Flandres, Belgium, where it is called Flemish.Most Dutch people reject the notion and consider it to be tainted with an unacceptable form of nationalism.
Other sizable groups are Surinamese (297,000), Turks (300,000), Moroccans (252,000), and Antilleans (99,000).
The average life expectancy in 1996 was 75.2 years for men and 80.7 years for women, while the infant mortality rate was 5.1 per 1,000. The official language of the Netherlands is Standard Dutch.
The non-Randstad culture corresponds to the historical divide between the predominantly Protestant north and the Catholic south, separated by the Rhine River.
Significant local variations of Dutch culture include the Friesian culture in the extreme north and the Brabant and Limburg cultures in the south.
Another source of national pride that sets aside regional and religious differences is sports, especially soccer and speed skating.