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Frank Swiaczny (2006)

Regional Population Development in the Netherlands*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 31, 3-4/2006, p. 613-642, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398

Regional population development in the Netherlands was influenced in the 19th and 20th Centuries by a web of historical processes which brought about individual developments and which differed from the situation pertaining in the neighbouring European countries. For instance, the Netherlands had long phases of very high fertility and correspondingly high population growth rates. This densely-populated country multiplied its population size from an 1800 level of roughly 2 million to a 1900 level of more than 5 million, and was home to roughly 16.3 million inhabitants in 2006. A large share of this population lives in urban areas; the population is concentrated in the urbanised agglomeration of the Randstad Holland, in which the four largest cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht are situated. Regional planning policy plays an extremely significant role in the Netherlands for settlement development and housing construction, and therefore influences demographic processes which are of spatial relevance, such as internal migration and suburbanisation. The article explains the historical course taken by the most important demographic trends and regional differentiations, set against the specific Dutch background, and provides a spatially-differentiated view of major demographic variables by the Corop Regions (NUTS-3) for 2005, as well as offering an outlook of the current regional demographic prognosis for the period until 2025 provided by Statistics Netherlands.

* Original title: Regionale Bevölkerungsentwicklung in den Niederlanden (full text in German only)

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