Number of Dutch municipalities further down
On 1 January 2014, the Netherlands comprises 403 municipalities, versus 408 on 1 January 2013 according to Statistics Netherlands. Due to the sustained decline in recent years, the number of large municipalities has risen.
In 2014, the newly created municipality of De Friese Meren is a merger of Gaasterlân-Sleat, Lemsterland, Skarsterlân and part of Boarnsterhim. The rest of Boarnsterhim was allocated to Heerenveen, Leeuwarden and Súdwest-Fryslân. At the same time, the municipality of Boarnsterhim has ceased to exist.
The province of South-Holland was also subject to a municipal re-division. On 1 January 2014, Boskoop and Rijnwoude are incorporated in Alphen aan den Rijn.
Eleven municipalities currently exceed 300 km2
The merging of municipalities is an ongoing process. As a result, municipalities become larger. In 2014, 11 municipalities cover more than 300 km2, versus 6 in 2000. After 2000, Súdwest-Fryslân, Hollands Kroon, Hardenberg, Steenwijkerland and currently De Friese Meren have joined the list of municipalities with a surface area exceeding 300 km2. Prior to 2000, Noordoostpolder, Emmen, Midden-Drenthe, Apeldoorn, Dronten and Ede were in this category. The largest municipality in the Netherlands, Súdwest-Fryslân, covers 505 km2, excluding the part of the IJsselmeer located within the municipal boundaries of Súdwest-Fryslân.
Six municipalities cover less than 10 km2
Simultaneously with the increasing number of large municipalities, the number of very small municipalities is declining. In 2000, the smallest municipality, Bennebroek, covered less than 2 km2. Today’s smallest municipality, Schoonhoven, covers nearly 7 km2. Five more municipalities in the Netherlands cover less than 10 km2, i.e. Westervoort, Oegstgeest, Bussum, Krimpen aan den IJssel and Heemstede. In 2000, 28 municipalities covered less than 10km2.