Number of municipalities remains unchanged in 2008

On 1 January 2008, the Netherlands comprises 443 municipalities. The number of Dutch municipalities remained unchanged in 2007, mainly because, for the first time since 1992, no municipal redivision projects were implemented.

Number of municipalities in the Netherlands on 1 January

Number of municipalities in the Netherlands on 1 January

More than 350 new municipalities since 1936

Every year, a large number of municipal redivisions and border adjustments are carried out to enhance the administrative power of municipal authorities. As a result, the total number of Dutch municipalities has been reduced since 1936 from 1,064 to the current number of 443. In the process, 359 new municipalities were created and 980 abolished. The entire process involved 7.5 million people.

Save border adjustments, 49 municipalities were merely renamed since 1936. In 12 cases, only the name of the municipality was spelt differently.

Abolished and new municipalities

Abolished and new municipalities

Largest reduction in province of Zeeland

Since 1936, the number of municipalities was reduced in all provinces. Proportionally, the most substantial reduction was recorded in the province of Zeeland: from 109 municipalities in 1936 to the current number of 13. In relative and absolute terms, the smallest reduction – from 44 to 31 municipalities – occurred in the province of Friesland.

Number of municipalities by province

Number of municipalities by province

More than 1,900 border adjustments since 1936

A municipal border may also change without the municipality being subject to redivision. Since 1936, this happened more than 1.9 thousand times. In more than 800 cases, there were no residents involved.

Border adjustments with Germany in 1949 and 1963

Second World War compensation payments included a number of adjustments to the German-Dutch border in 1949. The Netherlands obtained a total area of 6.7 square kilometres with a population of 9.5 thousand. As a result, two new municipalities arose in the Netherlands, i.e. Elten in the province of Gelderland and Tudderen in the province of Limburg. This area was largely ceded back to Germany in 1963. 

Basho Poelman