Rotterdam is located in South Holland, within the Netherlands. The beautiful river setting, the lively culture and its position as a major economic center has contributed to the city’s growth over the years. In 2016, the urban population is 994,000, with over 600,000 people residing within the city proper.
Rotterdam has a 2016 population of 994,000, and is part of the larger Randstad conurbation, which has a population of over 7 million. The population of the city proper was estimated to be around 630,000 in 2014, which makes it the second largest city by population in the Netherlands. The city’s vibrant culture and rich history make it a popular place to settle, and it’s also one of the top travel destinations in the area.
City Size and Population Density
The muunicipality of Rotterdam covers a total surface area of 325.79 kilometers squared (125.79 square miles). The population density is reaching toward 3,043 residents per kilometer square (7,880 people living per square mile).
One of the standout features of Rotterdam is its port, which is the largest in Europe and the 8th largest in the world. The success of its logistics industry is due in part to its location on North Sea, which access to the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta. The city also has a network of railroads, waterways and roads, earning it the nickname “Gateway to Europe.”
The city center has a large population of singles, with singles between the ages of 20 and 40 accounting for 70% of the population. This could explain why 80% of homes within the city are rented as opposed to being owned. This shouldn’t reflect on the income of Rotterdam residents, however, as the majority of residents within the city center have a higher level of education and bring in higher incomes than those who live in rural areas. Forty-five percent of the residents of Rotterdam are foreign born, while 51% of residents within the city center are foreign born. The city has a high population of Muslims, who make up about 13% of the total population. Rotterdam also has the largest Dutch Antillean community. Most of the foreign-born residents settled in Rotterdam come from Suriname, with over 50,000 recorded as living the city per data from 2015. Residents of Turkish, Moroccan, and Dutch Caribbean descent also contribute to the city’s population.
Because it is home to the largest port in Europe, which is also one of the biggest in the world, as well as home to headquarters for corporations including Unilever, Eneco and Roboco, many people come to the city for job opportunities. This may be a contributing factor to the city’s 8.5% unemployment rate, which is twice the national average. Rotterdam is also a popular spot for tourists, known for its shopping, museums, unique architecture and restaurants.
In 1283, reclaimed land was created by draining part of the Rotte River. Around this time, the name Rotterdam was first said. The city was created as a fishing village and was chartered in 1328. Just twelve years later, a canal was dug, making the city a major port. During the 17th Century, harbors were expanded and by the end of that century, Rotterdam came only second to Amsterdam as a merchant city.
The occupation of the area by France from 1795 to 1815 halted trade temporarily. Transit trade grew in popularity and following the fall of Napoleon, new waterways, bridges, and railroads were created. In 1930, the Waal Harbor – the largest dredged harbor in the world – was completed. During World War II, the city center and many of the port’s facilities were destroyed. However, following the war, the city was rebuilt from the ashes from experimental plans that included more functional architecture that was visually appealing to both residents and tourists.
In the 1940s, oil-processing became an important industry – a fact that is still true today. However, the basis of the economy relies on the city’s port. The amount of goods that travel through Rotterdam’s harbor and outport is the largest in the world, with most of the products consisting of crude oil and petroleum. The port is also one of the largest harbors when it comes to the transport of grain and general cargo.
Rotterdam Population Growth
Because it is home to one of the largest ports in the world and it has a thriving economy, the population of Rotterdam is expected to grow at a slow but steady rate over the years, particularly from foreigners coming to the city for employment opportunities. Its 2016 population of just under one million is expected to grow to 1.015 million by the end of 2020, and by 2030, the population is expected to hit 1.077 million.