Irish vs. Dutch: An Economic Contrast between Ireland and Netherlands

With this Article Gyan Please brings you a comparative analysis between the Economies of Ireland and Netherlands which is duly researched and based on various official data and resources.

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       Irish vs Dutch

Irish vs. Dutch:  The Analysis

Similar to the most of the European Nations the Ireland and Netherlands both follow the Mixed Economic system. It means an economic system in which both the private enterprise and the government coexist and work closely towards public welfare. We will compare and Contrast the Irish and Dutch Economy on the basis of the following factors-

Growth Rate

Netherlands have a far more flourishing GDP in comparison to Ireland. As per the 2017 Data, Netherlands owns a triple GDP Size (with 822 million USD) at market costs in comparison to Ireland (333 million USD). The biggest growth contributors are private consumption and investment, followed by public consumption.

Geographical Area

Ireland holds more than twice area geographically in comparison to the Netherlands. Ireland possesses a bit more than 84,000 Sq. km. of the area while the same value for the Netherlands is 41,000 km. Additionally, the Dutch have 5 times high Population density in comparison to the Irish People. It means at the end of the day Irish people have more resources to enjoy.


Ireland has almost 5 Million people residing within the borders which is almost one-fourth of the current population of the Netherlands. It asserts that in terms of human resources the Dutch have better productivity prospects and gives an edge over Ireland.


The government in the Netherlands put the health and wellness of its citizens at priority and the expenditure data supports it. In 2017 the Dutch spent 21% of GDP on health while the value was 14% for Irish expenditure.


Generally, Ireland has relatively high living standards and is an attractive place to live and work but at the same time, the people in Ireland are more susceptible towards Poverty (with Poverty Risk of 16.3%) while the indices put the Dutch on a lower side with poverty risk of 11.6%.

Labour and Employment

If we go by the Employment Indices(in percent) then Dutch have lower unemployment rates in comparison to the Irish. Surprisingly, owing to the high population of the Netherlands the people unemployed is thrice the people in Ireland. Also, Irish people have a way better ‘GDP Per Capita’ in comparison to the Dutch with a margin of 40 percent.


In spite of having a little population in comparison to the Dutch, Ireland spends more lavishly towards the educational expenditure and Student welfare.


The numbers as per the data make Ireland more peace-loving country over the people of the Netherlands. The Defence expenditure as the percent of GDP is 1/3rd in Ireland that of Dutch.


Ireland is a competitive economy across Europe through low corporation tax. The overall productivity levels, a well-educated and young workforce and a smart approach to business regulation look promising. While Taxes are on a higher side in the Netherlands but comparatively a good distribution of wealth in comparison to the first world countries.

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The Dutch are very Export Intensive as more than 78% GDP values are resultant of Exports with a gigantic exports size of 652K Million USD. For Irel, and the value is somewhat little (41%) in comparison to the Dutch with meager 137K Million USD.


Like export figures, the Import values are on a higher side too in the Netherlands. Though this trend is pretty discouraging and not at all good for the economy. So, Ireland has reasons to feel proud here with very low import values (26% of the GDP) in comparison to the Dutch (almost 70%).


Ireland has proportionately the largest capital investment programme in Europe. According to the ‘Doing Business Index’ Irish Economy (17) is on a brighter side. Additionally, significant strengths in high-value clusters of economic activity areas such as ICTs, biopharma, medical devices, and international financial services gives Ireland an extra edge.


The Agricultural and Food sector is a €24 billion contributor to Ireland’s economy. Additionally,  in returns, 6.3% of gross value added and 7.4% of employment across the country. In the same measure, the Netherlands earns more than 25 billion euros from exports of all agricultural businesses, the food and beverage industry and the agro-related manufacturing industry in this sector, which is around 4.5 % of its GDP.


The Irish GDP (70% of the GDP) and the Netherlands (80% of the GDP) both are dominated by the services Sector but it is the manufacturing sector that makes the difference. In Ireland the Manufacturing sector contributes 28% of GDP which is mostly driven by manufacturing) while in the Netherlands the contribution is a bit more than 18 % dominated by the machinery, electronics & high-tech industry, metal, Oil refining, Chemical, and food processing industries.

Energy and Environment

In terms of Carbon footprints, Ireland simply has a better performance in comparison to Dutch due to less CO2 emissions. It translates to a fact that Irish people are less susceptible towards a poor air quality in comparison to the Dutch.

Oil Consumption

People in the Netherlands consume twice oil and petroleum products in comparison to the citizens of Ireland. This huge demand is all because of the bigger population of the Netherlands.


Both Economies are largely a Service based economy as more than 3/4th of the GDP revolves around the same. An adequate attention should be given to the Industries, Agriculture, and other sectors too. In terms of Macroeconomic factors, the Dutch seem a winner with higher demographic dividend, GDP and export values. But If we look at the other factors which are microeconomic in nature, Ireland leaves a promising impression. It is growing with a balanced performance across the sectors.

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