In 2009, the Netherlands comprises 441 municipalities, as against 443 in 2008. In the province of North Holland, Bennebroek and Bloemendaal were merged and in the province of South Holland, Alkemade and Jacobswoude were merged into the new municipality of Kaag en Braassem.
Municipalities by population, 2008
Fewer small municipalities
As a result of the continuous municipal redivision process, the number of municipalities with a population under 20 thousand was reduced considerably. Redivisions are often implemented to enhance the administrative power of municipalities.
In 1960, the Netherlands comprised 993 municipalities. Nine in every ten municipalities had a population under 20 thousand. Last year, the proportion of municipalities in this size category had dropped to 42 percent. The proportion of municipalities with 100 thousand residents or more grew from 1 percent in 1960 to 6 percent in 2008.
Municipalities by population, 1960–2008
Municipalities continue to grow
The average municipal population in the Netherlands has more than tripled from 11.5 thousand in 1960 to 37 thousand in 2008. Last year, the population in 332 municipalities was below the nationwide average.
Average population by municipality, 1960–2008