The Netherlands, in western Europe, has a population of 16.49 million (2009 estimate) and is regarded as one of the most developed countries in the world, with a health care system and social services more expansive than the vast majority of other countries. The female life expectancy is 81. 7 years. Currently, the Netherlands has a birth rate of 10.9 per 1,000, and an infant mortality rate of 4.9 per 1,000 live births, down from 7 per 1,000 live births in 1990. Because of the widespread availability of free health care, immunization of children against major preventable diseases is one of the highest in the world with only 2 percent of young children not vaccinated against tetanus, diphtheria, and polio. The mortality rate of children ...

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