Netherlands Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Netherlands: population and cities



According to Countryaah website, the Netherlands has a total of around 16.7 million residents.

Ethnic composition

Nationalities besides the Dutch:

  • Indonesians: 2.4%
  • Germans: 2.4%
  • Turks: 2.2%
  • Suriname: 2.0%
  • Moroccans: 1.9%


  • Catholics: 28%
  • Protestants: 19%
  • Muslims: 6%
  • Jews: 40,000
  • Other confessions: 4%
  • without commitment: 44%

National language

The national language is of course Dutch. Frisian is spoken in the province of Friesland (Fryslân).

Aruba, Curacoa and St. Marteen

Since October 9, 2010, the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacoa and St. Marteen have been an independent part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The newly arrived 21,000 residents have the right to vote in the parliament of the Netherlands, but their currency is the US dollar. The Netherlands Antilles no longer exist.

Capital, other cities

The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam with a population of around 864,000, but the seat of government and parliament is The Hague. According to Abbreviation Finder, NED stands for Netherlands in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym. Other cities are:

  • Rotterdam with around 599,000 residents
  • The Hague (‘s-Gravenhage) with around 458,300 residents
  • Utrecht with around 260,700 residents
  • Eindhoven with around 205,000 residents
  • Tilburg with around 197,400 residents
  • Groningen with around 175,500 residents
  • Breda with around 163,300 residents
  • Almere with around 159,400 residents
  • Nijmegen with around 155,000 residents
  • Apeldoorn with around 154,700 residents
  • Enschede with around 151,300 residents
  • Haarlem with around 147,800 residents
  • Arnhem with around 140,800 residents
  • Zaanstad with around 137,600 residents
  • ‘s-Hertogenbosch with around 131,800 residents
  • Amersfoort with around 129,400 residents
  • Maastricht with around 121,800 residents
  • Dordrecht with around 120,300 residents
  • Haarlemmermeer with around 118,600 residents
  • Leiden with around 117,000 residents
  • Zoetermeer with around 110,200 residents
  • Zwolle with around 109,000 residents
  • Emmen with around 108,400 residents
  • Ede with around 103,700 residents
  • Delft with around 97,100 residents

Netherlands: geography

National borders, length of coast

The European part of the Netherlands has a common border with the following two countries:

  • Germany with a length of around 577 km,
  • Belgium with a length of around 450 km.

The island of Saint Martin (Sint Marteen), which has been part of the Netherlands since October 9, 2010, borders on the part of the island that belongs to France for around 10 km. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Netherlands.

The European part of the Netherlands includes a coastline to the North Sea with a length of around 450 km.

Area, land use and Randstad

The European part of the Netherlands covers a total area of 41,528 km2.


  • ForestAround 8% of the country is forested.
  • AgricultureAround 54% of the country is used for agriculture.
  • Land areaAround 33,800 km2 land area, of which 26% are below sea level.
  • Water surfaceAround 7,700 km 2 of the country are water surfaces.
  • National parksAround 2.8% of the total area are protected natural areas.

Since October 9, 2010 – after around five years of negotiations – the political situation in the Netherlands has been reorganized. Since then, the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten have been autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The islands of Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius have the status of special parishes in the Netherlands and do not belong to any province. Aruba had had a comparable status since 1986:

Island Main place Surface Population
Curacao Willemstad 444 km² 181,000
Bonaire Kralendijk 288 km² 14,500
Aruba Oranjestad 180 km² 106,000
Saint Marteen Philipsburg 34 km² 33,000
Saint Eustatius Oranjestad 21 km² 2,500
Saba The bottom 13 km² 1,500


The Randstad is a very densely populated urban area that extends over parts of the provinces of North Holland, South Holland, Flevoland and Utrecht – and covers around 20% of the area of the Netherlands. The area includes the cities and regions of Almere, Amsterdam, Delft, The Hague, Dordrecht, Gouda, Haarlem, Hilversum, Leiden, Rotterdam and Utrecht.

Around 40% of the entire population of the Netherlands live here.

Longitude and latitude

The European part of the Netherlands extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from 50 ° 45 ‘to 53 ° 33’ north latitude Δλ = from 003 ° 21 ‘to 007 ° 13’ east longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.


Central European Time (CET) applies in the European part of the Netherlands.

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

The highest point of the sun in Amsterdam

Amsterdam lies at a north latitude of around φ = 52.5 °.

If the sun is at the tropic, i.e. at δ = 23.5 °, summer will start in Amsterdam on June 21. Then, for the highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see position of the sun):

52.5 ° = (90 ° – h) + 23.5 °


H = 61 °

At 61 °, the sun in Amsterdam has the highest level of the entire year above the horizon (more precisely: above the horizon).

Mountains or elevations

Vaalserberg, Mount Scenery

The highest mountain or the highest elevation in the European part of the country is the Vaalserberg in the province of Limburg with a height of 323 m. But after the Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacoa and St. Marteen became independent parts of the Niederlange on October 9, 2010, the highest mountain in the entire country is the 877 m high Mount Scenery on the island of Saba. With an area of 13 km², Saba is the smallest inhabited island in the former Netherlands Antilles.

Other mountains or elevations in the European part of the Netherlands:

  • Vrouenheide with a height of 214 m
  • Schweuiber with a height of 206 m.

And on the Caribbean islands:

  • The Quill on Saint Eustatius with a height of 601 m
  • Pic Paradis on Saint Martin with an altitude of 411 m
  • Jamanota in Aruba with a height of 188 m

Rivers, Rhine and Meuse

Rijn (Rhine)

The longest river in the country is the Rhine with a length of around 1,230 km from its source in Switzerland to its mouth in the Netherlands.

According to some authors, the Rhine rises in Tomasse in the Swiss canton of Graubünden. But there are some source rivers further away from the mouth, which other authors consider to be sources of the Rhine, such as the source of the “Rein da Medel” in the canton of Ticino in the catchment area of the Hinterrhein. Depending on the source, the Rhine has a length of 1,230 km (from Tomasee) or around 1,300 km. The Tomasee lies at an altitude of 2,345 m in the catchment area of the Vorderrhein. The Vorderrhein rises in the approx. 3,000 m high area of the Gotthard tunnel and flows through the famous Flims Gorge, among other things. The Hinterrhein lies further east and is coming

At Tamins, a municipality 10 km west of Chur in the canton of Graubünden, the Vorderrhein and Hinterrhein flow together to form the “Alpine Rhine”. This Alpine Rhine is around 100 km long and – as mentioned – forms the border between Liechtenstein and Switzerland and, further north, part of the border between Switzerland and Austria.

West of Bregenz, the Alpine Rhine flows into the Upper Lake – part of Lake Constance – then through the Rhine Lake and at the end of the Lower Lake it leaves Lake Constance at Stein am Rhein. At Schaffhausen in Switzerland, it plunges down as a waterfall over a height difference of m. The Rhine Falls of Schaffhausen are impassable for all types of ships and fish (except eels). With a height of 23 m and a width of 150 m, it is the largest waterfall in Europe after Dettifoss on Iceland.

At Hoek van Holland the “Rhine” then flows into the North Sea.

The Rhine from the source to the mouth is divided into the following sections:

Area of source rivers

Is described in the text above.

Alpine Rhine

The Alpine Rhine stretches from the confluence of the front and rear Rhine to Lake Constance (Oberer See) near Bregenz.

Obersee, Seerhein and Untersee (together Lake Constance)

From the Obersee the Rhine flows through the Seerhein and the Untere See, which ends at Stein am Rhein.

Upper Rhine

The Upper Rhine begins in Stein am Rhein, at the end of Lake Constance, and extends to Basel

Upper Rhine.

The Upper Rhine begins in Basel and extends to Binger Loch. The Middle Upper Rhine Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Middle Rhine

The Middle Rhine begins at Binger Loch and extends to Bonn.

At Sankt Goarshausen in Rhineland-Palatinate, it passes the Loreley, an approximately 125 m high slate rock on the right bank of the Rhine, which was immortalized by Heinrich Heine’s poem.

Lower Rhine

The Lower Rhine begins in Bonn and extends to the Rhine-Maas delta

Rhine-Maas delta

The Rhine-Maas delta consists of a branched river delta that is formed before the confluence of the Rhine and Maas into the North Sea. The Meuse rises in France, flows through Belgium and flows into the North Sea after approx. 925 km in this delta.

Cities on the Rhine















Tributaries of the Rhine (alphabetically), the river lengths are rounded up or down:

Name of the river Estuary in section of the Rhine Length of the river in km
Aare Upper Rhine 290
Ahr Middle Rhine 90
Old Issel Rhine-Maas Delta 80
Bad Obersee (Lake Constance) 80
Berkel Rhine-Maas Delta 110
Birs Upper Rhine 75
Bregenz Oh Obersee (Lake Constance) 80
Elz Upper Rhine 90
Emscher Lower Rhine 85
Erft Lower Rhine 105
Ill Upper Rhine 210
Lahn Middle Rhine 245
lip Lower Rhine 220
Meuse Rhine-Maas Delta 920
Main Upper Rhine 525
Moder Upper Rhine 95
Moselle Middle Rhine 545
Murg Upper Rhine 80
Near Upper Rhine 115
Neckar Upper Rhine 365
Oude Maas Rhine-Maas Delta 30
Dysentery Lower Rhine 220
Angry Upper Rhine 70
victory Lower Rhine 155
Thur Upper Rhine 130
Wied Middle Rhine 100
Wupper Lower Rhine 120
Wutach Upper Rhine 90

Maas (Meuse)

Other rivers are the Rhine arms Waal, Leek and IJssel, which form the delta of the Rhine, and the Maas (Meuse) with a total length of around 925 km.

Lakes, Ijsselmeer


The IJsselmeer – in the German IJsselmeer – is a diked former part of the North Sea. In the meantime, the water of this approx. 1,100 km² inland sea consists practically of fresh water. The inland sea is separated from the Norsee in the north by a large 90 m wide and 29 km long dike. Motorway 7 leads across the dike. The dike has two huge sluices and a pumping station.

The IJsselmeer is a large part of the former Zuidersee. The dike was built in 1932. Today’s water depth is between around 2 m and 5 m, with the exception of a few deeper places. A second dike, which was completed in 1976, divides the IJsselmeer into two parts in the southern part, with the southern part having its own name “Markermeer”. The two seas are connected by two locks – in the northwest near Enkhuizen and in the southeast near Lelystad. The southeastern parts of today’s Markermeer and the IJsselmeer have been drained and form the province of Flevoland, which is surrounded by water. To the north is the newly created area “Noordoostpolder”. Both areas are characterized by the 1, 2 km wide Ketelmeer separated – at this point the two regions are connected by a bridge (Ketelbrücke = Ketelbrug), over which the Autobahn 6 leads (Boereland route). The area of the IJsselmeer is a popular area for water sports enthusiasts.

This inland sea gets its water mainly from the IJssel and the Vechte.

Other larger lakes are:

  • Grevelingen, the lake is the largest salt water lake in Europe with an area of around 110 km2
  • Oosterschelde
  • Veerse Meer


The West Frisian Islands are offshore. The most important are:

  • Terscheling with an area of 674 km2
  • Texel with an area of 586 km2
  • Vlieland with an area of 321 km2
  • Ameland with an area of 273 km2
  • Schiermonnikoog with an area of 191 km2

You can find some information about the newly added Caribbean islands since October 9, 2010 at the beginning of the article.

Deepest place in the country

Nieuwerkerk a/d Ijssel (South Holland) with 6.7 m below sea level.

North Sea

The Netherlands borders the North Sea for around 450 km.

Netherlands Population