South Holland - Facts and Figures

The province of South Holland (Zuid-Holland) at a glance: find out about the urban population numbers, international business, transport and some significant venues...


There is a misconception that the names Holland and the Netherlands are interchangeable and describe the same place. In fact, the country of the Netherlands is comprised of twelve provinces and three special municipalities:

  • Drenthe, Flevoland, Friesland, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland and Zuid-Holland
  • Municipalities: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba

The area called Holland is made up of just two of these twelve provinces:

  • North Holland (Noord-Holland) and South Holland (Zuid-Holland)

Interesting to note: the Netherlands in north western Europe, together with the larger islands of Sint Maarten, Curacao and Aruba in the Caribbean make up the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

    Population and Geography

    South Holland Population and Geography
    Land Area2,818 km2 (ranking 5/12)
    Population3.5 million (ranking 1/12)
    Elevationmost of South Holland is at sea level
    Ten Most Populated Cities in South Holland Population (000's)
    The Hague519.4
    Alphen aan den Rijn108.0

    Figures from Citypopulation and based on 2016 estimates.


    The Port of Rotterdam is the largest shipping port in Europe and, until 2004, was the largest shipping port in the world (Shanghai now holds that title).

    RandstadRail is a light rail service that only operates in South Holland. It bridges the gap between the National Rail Service and the more local tram service, connecting the metropolitan area of Rotterdam with that of The Hague. It runs on a combination of older tracks unused by National Rail as well as some of the active local tram tracks. One line connects The Hague to Rotterdam via Delft and Schiedam, while two lines connect The Hague with Zoetermeer.


    There are approximately 130,000 registered businesses in South Holland. Among these are the the global, European, or Dutch headquarters for Royal Dutch Shell, Siemens A.G., TNT Post, T-Mobile, Unilever, APM Terminals, Aegon, KPN, ABN AMRO, and ING.

    The Hague is a major hub for international organisations. The International Court of Justice, the European Police Office (EUROPOL), the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) are headquartered in The Hague, as are many United Nations and European Union bodies. The Hague is also home to many organisations concerned with international law and justice, including courts and tribunals for international dispute resolution and a high number of international NGOs. As such, it has a substantial population of expatriates working in international law, politics, administration and charity.


    Tallest Structures in South Holland
    Church TowersNieuwe Kerk, Delft (1496): 108.8m
    Grote Kerk, The Hague (1424): 92.6m
    St Jacobus Kerk, The Hague (1878): 91.1m
    Other TowersEuromast (Rotterdam): 186m
    SkyscrapersMaastoren (Rotterdam): 165m
    New Orleans (Rotterdam): 158 m
    Delftse Poort (Rotterdam): 151m
    Millennium Tower (Rotterdam): 149m
    Hoftoren (The Hague): 142m
    Ministry of Justice (The Hague): 146m
    Ministry of the Interior (The Hague): 146m

    Major Arenas, Stadiums and Media Centres