Regional Differences

Regional Differences

Living in the Netherlands

There are more than 7.2 million homes in the Netherlands. These homes are different from other goods which we consume. After all, homes are "earth and nail-proof" bound to where they stand and have a long life. As a result, the housing stock is largely fixed. The people who live in it are in principle much less localized. They want to live where it suits them, in a good home in one pleasant environment, from which they can reach work and facilities.

There are regional differences in the size of employment, in the supply of facilities and in the attractiveness of the living and living environment. Attractive regions are showing stronger growth in employment and population size than less attractive areas. Because of the spatial policy.

Moreover, only a small part of the Dutch surface is available to government planning. In the interest of "good spatial planning", the Dutch government strives to be economical when it comes to using space. New construction should take place as much as possible in an already built-up area. As regional differences arise as a result of this variation in attractiveness and policy employment and population density.

This regional variation in land density is the result of regional differences in growth in the number of inhabitants and activities in the past. Areas that offer a good opportunity to livelihoods, grow stronger and become more densely populated as a result compared to regions that are less attractive to habitation. This combination of density and growth rate then gives a good impression of the development phase in which a region is currently undergoing.

Densely populated regions that show stronger than average growth was seen as attractive in the past as a place of residence, given the high growth rate in the present time. They are the core areas of the country. Regions that combine high density with low growth rates were attractive in the past, but now, it’s no longer a case. Opposite this "old gold" were areas where the low density indicates that it was less attractive in the past, but which show relatively strong growth at the present time. However, there is no strong growth in peripheral regions in these regions at present.

The Netherlands is a country based on population density and growth, over the past two centuries distinguished in the Randstad and "other Netherlands". The Randstad - the provinces of North and South Holland, Utrecht and Flevoland - is the large, dynamic core of our country. Although this core did not shine continuously in terms of growth rate, but still managed to maintain its central position. Also in the coming decades, the Randstad - after a few decades in which growth was less vigorous - will be able to face strong growth. The other provinces, despite the very strong growth that they sometimes showed, failed to continue to grow into a core province. Other provinces except Noord-Brabant will grow at a much slower rate than the Randstad in the coming decades. The demand for housing is growing short and well in the Randstad, therefore, continuously growing substantially. In almost the rest of the country, the need for housing is not only less extensive, but there is also stagnation in the development of demand for housing.

The housing stock in our country is the result of a century and a half of (re)building and demolition. Both the house itself as the place where it stands reflects the era in which it came into being. On that basis, six residential environments are recognized. Before the 1960s, housing construction was found in a relatively small number of city centers and neighborhoods were highly concentrated and this has been the case since the 1990s. In this old and young living environment, the available space is usually used intensively. Homes are built very close together. In the 1960s and 1970s, housing construction was much more spread out across the country. Nuclei and neighborhoods from this era are also less densely built-up. Reflecting the growth in prosperity - the share of large, land-related and owner-occupied homes in the housing stock increases as the younger district is growing.

These residential environments do not occur to the same extent throughout the country. The housing stock in a region reflects the historical development. The Randstad has a share of old and young urban centers. North Brabant, Limburg, Overijssel and South Holland have relatively many residential environments from the suburbanization period and the provinces on the edge of the country are relatively old rural residential environments. The "terraced house" - a large, ground-level house from the post-war period - may be the stereotype of being a Dutch home, comparing to the average home in highly urbanized centers and regions on the one hand and in rural centers and regions, on the other hand. The "typically Dutch house is in a core with a suburban character as seen in North Brabant or South Holland.

Almost 17 million people now live in the Netherlands, which are part of 7.4 million households. The Dutch population size has increased sharply in recent decades. In addition, the population composition under the influence of aging, household dilution and internationalization has dramatically changed. Just as is the case for the housing stock, there is both on the fine-grained level of cores and there are variations in size, composition and at the coarse-meshed regional scale level of population development.

In the coming decades, the number of inhabitants and households in our country will continue to grow - albeit at a significantly slower pace - and aging, household dilution and internationalization are set to slow down. That is why an extra million homes are needed. As the number of households will decrease after 2040, this increase in the housing stock would be at least partly temporary and must have some policies in order to prevent the vacancy of houses. This will mainly be the case in the regions on the outskirts of the country, as demographic stagnation and housing surplus were prominent. The number of households will increase much less and the number of removals will increase strongly than the average in our country. Only in the "trunk" of the country - and then especially in the North Wing of the Randstad - the housing stock will be larger after 2040 than it is now. The expansion of the housing stock must therefore have a structural character.