The Randstad Region comprises four provinces in the western Netherlands: Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland, Utrecht and Flevoland.
The ‘Randstad’ is not a single city and it is not an agglomeration around a single city, such as one sees in Paris or London. Rather it is a conglomerate of large and midsize cities. Together, these cities have all the facilities necessary to play a significant role in the world.
It is a dynamic metropolitan region where 8.1 million people – nearly half of the country’s population – live and work. The well-known cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague are located in the Randstad.
The region offers a wide spectrum of economic activities. With a gross regional product (GRP) of EUR 367 billion, the Randstad Region is the fourth-largest metropolitan region in Europe after London, Paris and the Rhine-Ruhr. More than half of the Netherlands’ gross national product is generated in the Randstad.
The Randstad is a key point of access for North-western Europe. The region offers direct connections to the rest of the world, including through mainports such as the Port of Rotterdam, the largest port in Europe, and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. In addition to other factors, such as world-class museums in Amsterdam, this excellent international accessibility makes the region appealing to international businesses, conferences and tourists.
As a regional cluster, the Randstad is an important driver for knowledge and innovation. Many knowledge institutions – including leading universities – are located in the Randstad Region.