Between 2001 and 2005, the number of shops and (leisure) facilities per 100 thousand inhabitants decreased by 8 percent. The rate of decline in rural areas was 6 percent and below the nationwide average.
Fewer facilities across the board
The number of shopping and banking facilities, hotels and restaurants, etc. in the Netherlands declined from 899 to 825 per 100 thousand inhabitants between 2001 and 2005. In rural municipalities, the rate dropped from 837 to 787. The number of facilities for the country as a whole was 5 percent higher in 2005 than in rural municipalities and in urban municipalities even 7 percent higher.
Number of facilities in rural areas, 2001-2005
Substantial decline in Groningen and South Holland
The rate per 100 thousand inhabitants dropped most significantly in the provinces of Groningen and South Holland. Flevoland is the only province where the level is retained, despite the substantial population growth in this province.
The smallest reduction was recorded in the province of Drenthe. In the other provinces the reduction is on a par with the nationwide average.
Food shops in decline in rural areas
The number of food shops was seriously in decline in rural areas. The rate per 100 thousand inhabitants dropped by 18 percent between 2001 and 2005. In South Holland and Utrecht, the reduction was in excess of 20 percent.
Number of food shops by province
Major cutback in local banking offices
Local banking offices were reduced by 38 percent, but the rate remains higher than in urbanised areas. The reduction coincides with the boom in online banking.
Local banking offices by province
More services provided, fewer hotels and restaurants
The number of retailers (hairdressers, video shops, etc.) increased by 11 percent in rural areas, i.e. above the national average. Flevoland is rapidly closing the gap with the rest of the country.
The reduction in the number of hotels and restaurants in rural areas by 7 percent is less substantial than in urbanised areas. Nationwide, the reduction was 10 percent.
Differences between urban and rural areas
The picture is more diversified with respect to other types of facilities. In rural areas, the number of cultural facilities, for example, was reduced more than in the Netherlands as a whole. The number of sports facilities, on the other hand, remained stable in rural areas, but showed a downward trend nationwide.