418 municipalities in 2011

On 1 January 2011, there were 418 municipalities in the Netherlands versus 431 on 1 January 2010. This downward trend has been going on for many years; the aim of reducing the number of municipalities is to strengthen the administrative power at the municipal level.

17 municipalities abolished

On 1 January this year, 17 Dutch municipalities across 6 provinces, were abolished. These municipalities were included in 3 already existing and 5 newly created municipalities. On 18 March 2010, Rozenburg was included in the municipality of Rotterdam. Altogether, 13 municipalities were abolished and the Netherlands comprises 418 municipalities on 1 January 2011.

136 municipalities have not been subject to redivisions

A total of 277 municipalities in the Netherlands already existed prior to 1900; 136 of these municipalities have never been involved in a redivisions process, but that does not imply that there have never been changes. Nearly all municipalities have been subject to boundary changes.

The remaining 141 municipalities were created after 1900 as a result of mergers in combination with name changes or only the name has been changed. In the province of Friesland, many municipalities were henceforth denoted by their official Frisian name.

Municipalities in 2011

Municipalities in 2011

Maasdriel and Tholen merged with 7 municipalities

In the provinces of Zeeland and Gelderland, the municipalities of Maasdriel and Tholen were both the result of a merger with 7 municipalities. Maasdriel and Tholen are followed by Veere, Maastricht, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, which were all the result of mergers with 6 municipalities.

If the period prior to 1900 is taken into account, Rotterdam tops the list. In 5 stages, 10 municipal mergers were effected.

Municipalities in 2011, which have incorporated other municipalities since 1900

Municipalities in 2011, which have incorporated other municipalities since 1900

Tholen incorporates most municipalities in one go

The most frequent is a merger involving two municipalities. The largest municipal merger was realised in 1971 in the province of Zeeland, as 6 municipalities were added to Tholen: Oud-Vossemeer, Poortvliet, Scherpenisse, Sint-Annaland, Sint-Maartensdijk and Stavenisse. In a later stage, Sint Philipsland was also incorporated.

Hilde Keuning