The map comparison above shows what the land area of what makes up the Netherlands today, looked like in 1300 compared to what it looked like in 2000.
Around 17% of the country’s current land area has been reclaimed from the sea or lakes.
You can see a gif of this process below:
And here’s a map showing during what time period each area was reclaimed:
Here are a few more facts about land area of the Netherlands:
- 26% of its area is located below sea level.
- 21% of its population lives in areas below sea level.
- Only 50% of its area is more than 1 meter above sea level.
- Lowest point: Zuidplaspolder −7 m (−23 ft), below sea level.
- Highest point (In Europe): Vaalserberg 322.7 m (1,059 ft) above sea level.
- Flevoland is the most recent Dutch province and was only created in 1986 on land that was most reclaimed in the 1950s and 1960s.
For more on the Netherlands and Land reclamation have a look at the following books:
- The Dutch and their Delta: Living Below Sea Level
- Dutch Dikes
- Man-made lowlands: History of water management and land reclamation in the Netherlands
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