The Netherlands (aka Holland) is the 30th most densely populated country or territory in the world and the densest country in Europe with a over 10 million people. So it’s understandable that the Dutch might think that their country is a little bit crowded.
However, the map above flips this idea on its head.
Instead of thinking of the Netherlands as a densely populated country, it looks at the Netherlands as if it were a relatively empty city.
The population of The Netherlands currently stands at 16.9 million people who live in an area of 41,526 sq km (16,033 sq mi), giving it a population density of 407.4 pop/sq km (1,055.16 pop/sq mi).
This is less than the population of the New York metropolitan area which has over 23 million people who all live in an area of 34,490 sq km (13,318 sq mi), giving it a density of 724 pop/sq km (1,876 pop/sq mi).
It should be noted that the map above is looking at Metropolitan areas and not just cities proper. If you looked at only city cores you’d find much higher density levels. For example, Manhattan has 27,672.6 people per sq km (71,671.8/sq mi).
So how do the 9 regions in the map above compare when it comes to density?
- Ruhrgebiet (Rhur): 1,646/sq km (4,260/sq mi)
- Randstad: 1,500/sq km (4,000/sq mi)
- London: 1,160.5/sq km (3,005.7 sq/mi)
- New York: 724/sq km (1,876/sq mi)
- Paris: 715.8/sq km (1,853.9/sq mi)
- Chicago: 509/sq km (1,318/sq mi)
- San Francisco: 411/sq km (1,065/sq mi)
- Netherlands: 407.4/sq km (1,055.16/sq mi)
- Los Angeles: 210.9/sq km (546.3/sq mi)
Therefore, when taken together, the Netherlands is less dense that 7 of the 8 metropolitan areas listed. However, it’s still denser than LA and almost as dense as the San Francisco Bay area. So Holland is a dense country and would not even be a particularly empty city.
Want to learn more about Holland and the Netherlands? The following books may be of interest:
- The UnDutchables: an observation of the netherlands, its culture and its inhabitants
- Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
- Rick Steves Amsterdam & the Netherlands
- The Island at the Center of the World: The Epic Story of Dutch Manhattan and the Forgotten Colony That Shaped America
Like this map? Please help us by sharing it: