More built-up and recreational areas, less farmland

Nearly 74 thousand hectares of the land area of the Netherlands had a different use in 2000 than in 1996. The area of built-up and partly built-up land and recreational terrains increased in this period. Half the land that changed use in the period was previously farmland.

Built-up area: 9.5 percent of the Netherlands

Built-up areas in the Netherlands increased by nearly 14 thousand hectares in the period 1996-2000. A total of nearly 9.5 percent of the Dutch land area is now built-up. Building land is the main type of partly built-up land. Not all building land is actually developed, though. The area of developed building land rose by more than half in the period 1996-2000.

Changes in some types of land use, 1996-2000

Friesland and Overijssel develop most building land

Across the whole of the Netherlands more than 9 thousand hectares of building land changed land use category between 1996 and 2000.

The provinces of Friesland and Overijssel develop the largest percentage of land designated for development. In Friesland 72 percent of building land in 1996 had a different use in 2000. In Overijssel this was just over 67 percent. The average for the Netherlands was 42 percent.

West Nederland: less building land developed

In North and South Holland the land development was 7 and 12 points respectively below the national average. The province of Zeeland developed least of its building land: 23 percent points below the national average.

Percentage of building land developed, 1996-2000

Increase in recreational use

In the period 1996-2000 the area of recreational land increased by 2.7 thousand hectares to nearly 89 thousand hectares. This land also includes parks, gardens, sports grounds, allotments, amusement parks and holiday parks.

Largest recreational area in South Holland

With a total area of nearly 15 thousand hectares, South Holland has access to most recreational land. The provinces of Gelderland, North Holland and North Brabant all have just over 12 thousand hectares of recreational land within their borders. Groningen province has least recreational land, with 3.6 thousand hectares.

Hans Visser and Wim Lengkeek