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That welfare system, combined with its strongly redistributive taxing system, makes the Netherlands one of the most egalitarian countries worldwide.
It also ranks joint third highest in the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, along with Australia.
The geographical location of the upper region, however, changed over time tremendously, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area.
The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior (nowadays part of Belgium and the Netherlands) and upstream Germania Superior (nowadays part of Germany).
The region of Holland consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces, formerly a single province, and earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom.
Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region.
In 2017, the UN World Happiness Report ranked the Netherlands as the sixth-happiest country in the world, reflecting its high quality of life.
The Netherlands has a generous welfare state that provides universal healthcare, good public education, and infrastructure, as well as a wide range of social benefits.
From the mid-sixteenth century on, "the Low Countries" and "the Netherlands" lost their original deictic meaning.With a population density of 414 people per km – 510 if water is excluded – the Netherlands is classified as a very densely populated country.Only Bangladesh, South Korea, and Taiwan have both a larger population and higher population density.The Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà (~ the lands over here) for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà (~ the lands over there) for their original homeland: Burgundy in present-day east-central France.From a regional point of view, Niderlant was also the area between the Meuse and the lower Rhine in the late Middle Ages.
They are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Boven, Oben, Superior or Haut.