South Holland - Facts and Figures

South Holland, Netherlands at a glance: largest cities, biggest companies, tallest towers and the major event venues in The Hague, Rotterdam, Delft, Leiden and surroundings...

Holland vs. the Netherlands

There is a misconception that the terms Holland and The Netherlands refer to the same thing...

  • The Netherlands is the name of the country; Holland is the name of a region in the country.
  • The Netherlands has 17.0 million residents; Holland has 6.4 million residents.
  • The Netherlands has  12 provinces and 3 'special' Caribbean municipalities; Holland has 2 provinces.

Dutch provinces and special municipalities

The Netherlands*:

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


  • Provinces: Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland 

*Interesting to note: the Kingdom of the Netherlands is not the same thing as The Netherlands...

Kingdom of the Netherlands:

  • Countries: The Netherlands, Sint Maarten, Curacao and Aruba


South Holland Information

Population and Geography

  • Land Area: 2,818 km2 (5th largest province)
  • Population: 3.7 million (1st in population)
  • Elevation: At or below sea level


Ten Largest Municipalities in South Holland

(Based on population. Numbers quoted in 000's)

  • Rotterdam 629.1
  • The Hague 519.4
  • Zoetermeer 124.2
  • Leiden 122.6
  • Dordrecht 118.8
  • Alphen aan den Rijn 108.0
  • Westland 105.0
  • Delft 101.1
  • Spijkenisse 85.4
  • Schiedam 77.1

*Data: Citypopulation 2016 estimates. 


Regions and Municipalities

South Holland is broken down into 60 administrative municipalities ('gemeenten'). In some cases, the geographic boundaries of a municipality is the same as the city with the same name (for example, the Municipality of The Hague is same as the City of The Hague). But in other cases, a municipality may be comprised of several towns or villages (for example, the Municipality of Westland includes the villages of De Lier, 's-Gravenzande, Monster, Naaldwijk, Schipluiden and Wateringen).

For reporting purposes, the Dutch national statistics bureau CBS, breaks down South Holland into 6 regions:

  • Leiden and Bollenstreek (bulb-growing region)
  • Haaglanden (The Hague metropolitan area)
  • Delft and Westland
  • Rijnmond (Rotterdam metropolitan area)
  • Oost Zuid-Holland (including Gouda and Alphen aan den Rijn)
  • Zuidoost Zuid-Holland (including Dordrecht and Alblasserdam)

Transport and Shipping

The Port of Rotterdam is the largest deep water sea port in Europe. Over 175,000 people work in or for the port, which extends 42 kms from the Wilhelminapier near the city center to the Maasvlakte II which juts out into the North Sea. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

South Holland is well connected by rail service; NS is the national train operator and runs both express (intercity) and local (Sprinter) rail service. 

RandstadRail is a light rail service which only operates in South Holland, connecting the metropolitan area of Rotterdam with that of The Hague. It runs on a combination of tracks: train, tram and metro. There are two RandstadRail lines:

  • Metro E - connects Rotterdam and The Hague (via Bergschenhoek, Berkel en Rodenrijs, Pijnacker, Nootdorp, Leidschendam and Voorburg). It is operated by the RET.
  • Tram 3/ Tram 4 - connects The Hague and Zoetermeer (via Voorburg and Leidschendam). It is operated by the HTM.

Both The Hague and Rotterdam operate extensive tram and bus services. Rotterdam also operates an underground metro system.

Businesses and International Organizations

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, ING and Hudson's Bay.

The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and where the Dutch Royal Family resides. As such, it is also where most foreign embassies, consulates and trade missions are located.

The city is also home to the famed Peace Palace ('Vredespaleis') which houses the prestigious International Court of Justice (ICJ) or World Court, the primary judicial branch of the United Nations.

Other European or International organizations located in South Holland include:

  • European Police Office (EUROPOL) - The Hague
  • Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - The Hague
  • International Criminal Court (ICC) - The Hague
  • Unicef Netherlands - The Hague
  • European Patent Office (EPO) - Rijswijk
  • European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) - Noordwijk
  • International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences (AIESEC) - Rotterdam
  • Institute for Water Education (UNESCO IHE) - Delft

These organizations have large international staffs, which contribute to the sizable expat community in the region.


Tallest Structures by Type in South Holland

Church Towers

  • Nieuwe Kerk (1496), Delft: 108.8m
  • Grote Kerk Den Haag (1424), The Hague: 92.6m
  • St Jacobus Kerk (1878), The Hague: 91.1m


  • Euromast (1960, 1970), Rotterdam: 186m


  • Maastoren (2010), Rotterdam: 165m
  • New Orleans (2010), Rotterdam: 158 m
  • Delftse Poort (1992), Rotterdam: 151m
  • De Rotterdam (2013), Rotterdam: 151m
  • Ministry of Justice (2012), The Hague: 146m
  • Ministry of the Interior (2012), The Hague: 146m
  • Hoftoren (2003), The Hague: 142m
  • New Babylon (2013), The Hague: 142m
  • Montevideo (2005), Rotterdam: 140m
  • Millennium Tower (2000), Rotterdam: 132m


Key Entertainment & Sports Venues





The Hague






Contributed by Hollywood2Holland ©2018