Rotterdam Population 2021

1,012,007
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Rotterdam's 2021 population is now estimated at 1,012,007. In 1950, the population of Rotterdam was 764,227. Rotterdam has grown by 1,981 since 2015, which represents a 0.20% annual change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Rotterdam, which typically includes Rotterdam's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.

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).

Rotterdam Demographics

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.

Rotterdam History

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.

Rotterdam Population 2021

Year Population Growth Rate Growth
20351,063,8850.22%2,339
20341,061,5460.26%2,712
20331,058,8340.29%3,082
20321,055,7520.33%3,440
20311,052,3120.36%3,790
20301,048,5220.39%4,108
20291,044,4140.42%4,382
20281,040,0320.44%4,567
20271,035,4650.45%4,646
20261,030,8190.45%4,571
20251,026,2480.42%4,329
20241,021,9190.38%3,907
20231,018,0120.33%3,337
20221,014,6750.26%2,668
20211,012,0070.20%1,981
20201,010,0260.13%1,359
20191,008,6670.09%887
20181,007,7800.06%627
20171,007,1530.06%627
20161,006,5260.06%626
20151,005,9000.06%626
20141,005,2740.06%626
20131,004,6480.06%624
20121,004,0240.06%626
20111,003,3980.06%625
20101,002,7730.06%624
20091,002,1490.06%623
20081,001,5260.06%625
20071,000,9010.06%623
20061,000,2780.06%622
2005999,6560.13%1,257
2004998,3990.19%1,886
2003996,5130.19%1,880
2002994,6330.19%1,877
2001992,7560.19%1,870
2000990,8860.19%1,886
1999989,0000.19%1,894
1998987,1060.19%1,891
1997985,2150.19%1,884
1996983,3310.19%1,886
1995981,4450.43%4,227
1994977,2180.67%6,501
1993970,7170.67%6,448
1992964,2690.67%6,424
1991957,8450.67%6,372
1990951,4730.56%5,299
1989946,1740.45%4,256
1988941,9180.45%4,248
1987937,6700.45%4,222
1986933,4480.45%4,204
1985929,2440.41%3,782
1984925,4620.37%3,386
1983922,0760.37%3,368
1982918,7080.37%3,356
1981915,3520.37%3,340
1980912,012-0.02%-228
1979912,240-0.41%-3,752
1978915,992-0.41%-3,768
1977919,760-0.41%-3,778
1976923,538-0.41%-3,803
1975927,341-0.65%-6,095
1974933,436-0.89%-8,396
1973941,832-0.89%-8,461
1972950,293-0.89%-8,560
1971958,853-0.89%-8,626
1970967,479-0.39%-3,785
1969971,2640.11%1,030
1968970,2340.11%1,033
1967969,2010.11%1,030
1966968,1710.11%1,028
1965967,1430.40%3,812
1964963,3310.68%6,543
1963956,7880.68%6,490
1962950,2980.68%6,446
1961943,8520.68%6,394
1960937,4581.41%13,071
1959924,3872.14%19,337
1958905,0502.14%18,933
1957886,1172.13%18,511
1956867,6062.14%18,174
1955849,4322.14%17,769
1954831,6632.14%17,398
1953814,2652.13%17,010
1952797,2552.14%16,700
1951780,5552.14%16,328
1950764,2270.00%

Rotterdam Population Data (Urban Area)

Name 2021 Population 2021 Growth
Amsterdam1,157,5190.74%
Rotterdam1,012,0070.20%
The Hague703,5880.86%
Utrecht551,8791.38%
Eindhoven361,9760.84%

Other Cities in Netherlands

  1. City of Rotterdam - Official website of the City of Rotterdam
  2. Statistics Netherlands - Netherlands information, data and population statistics
  3. World Urbanization Prospects - United Nations population estimates and projections of major Urban Agglomerations

Sources