In 2004 the Dutch population grew by 0.2 percent to reach 16.3 million. The population increased rapidly in municipalities surrounding larger towns. The municipality of Barendrecht reported the largest population increase in 2004. The largest decrease was recorded in the municipality of Marum.
Top ten municipalities with the largest population increase in 2004
Population growth around larger towns
In 2004 many people moved from Rotterdam to new housing estates in Barendrecht, making it the fastest growing municipality in 2004. The population of the municipalities of Pijnacker-Nootdorp (people from The Hague and Delft) and Albrandswaard (people from Rotterdam) increased by approximately 5 percent. New housing estates in Haarlemmermeer attracted Amsterdam residents. The population of Berkel en Rodenrijs (people from Rotterdam) and Houten (people from Utrecht) grew by roughly 3 percent. In the municipality of Thorn the population, particularly the number of people over 65, grew considerably due to the opening of a new home for the elderly.
Top ten municipalities with the largest population decrease in 2004
Largest population decrease in Marum
The highest rate of population decrease (-2.9 percent) was recorded in Marum. In the municipalities of Vlagtwedde, Vaals, Vlieland and Berkelland, the population fell by more than 2 percent. In Marum and Vlagtwedde asylum seekers centres were closed down. Comparatively speaking, a large number of residents of Vaals left the Netherlands to settle in Germany.
Population increase in the 10 largest municipalities in 2004
Population grows in Almere and Utrecht
The highest population growth rate in 2004 was found in Almere (+2.4 percent) and Utrecht (+2.1 percent). Almere attracts many residents from Amsterdam. In addition, many young families move to Almere which results in a higher birth rate. The number of residents living in Rotterdam and The Hague declined by 0.5 and 0.1 percent respectively. Amsterdam’s population remained virtually unchanged.