The Municipal Council represents the residents of The Hague. The Municipal Council and the Municipal Executive together form the municipal government.
The Municipal Council is the most senior administrative body of the municipality. The Hague Municipal Council comprises 45 members from 15 different political parties. Members of the Municipal Council are elected by the population of The Hague every 4 years.
The Municipal Council lays down the main principles of policy and checks whether the Municipal Executive is doing its job satisfactorily. The Municipal Executive implements the decisions taken. In order to perform these duties, the Municipal Council has a number of resources at its disposal (in Dutch). Major plans in the fields of, for example, spatial planning, the economy, welfare and traffic can be implemented only if approved by a majority of the Council. The Municipal Council also decides how the municipality’s resources will be allocated.
The Hague (officially ‘s-Gravenhage) is a fast growing city with nearly 550,000 inhabitants (2021). It is the 3rd largest city in the Netherlands after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Although The Hague is not the constitutional capital of the country, it is the official seat of the royal family and the government. It is also the capital of the province of South Holland.
Most foreign embassies, Dutch ministries and the Supreme Court (Hoge Raad) are located in The Hague. As the International City of Peace and Justice, it plays host to a large number of international tribunals, including the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, as well as hundreds of international organisations, European agencies such as Europol and Eurojust, and NGOs.
Since 2015 The Hague together with 22 other municipalities forms the Rotterdam-The Hague metropolitan area with a population of 2.7 million across 1,130 square kilometres. The area is also part of the larger urban area called the Randstad, an important economic and densely populated area which includes Amsterdam and Utrecht. The Hague has 6 train stations and 2 international airports (Rotterdam-The Hague International Airport) and Schiphol (Amsterdam) International Airport, both less than a 40-minute train ride from The Hague’s Central Station.
The Hague has 8 city districts and a total of 44 neighbourhoods. The largest city district is Centrum. More than half (55%) of the city’s residents have an immigrant background (Western and non-Western) and this number continues to rise steadily. The composition of the population varies significantly depending on the neighbourhood.
With 11 kilometres of coastline along the North Sea, The Hague boasts 2 beach resorts: Scheveningen and Kijkduin. One-third of the city’s total surface area is green, with extensive rugged dune landscapes, a wide natural sandy beach, many parks, old country estates and forests, often at just a stone’s throw from the city centre.
The highest concentration of international schools in the Netherlands is found in The Hague region, with 12 international primary and secondary schools. In addition to Dutch government subsidised international schools, The Hague hosts private British, American, French, and German schools, as well as schools connected to several embassies. In terms of tertiary education there is 1 college offering vocational training, 5 universities of applied sciences, a Hague campus of Leiden University and a number of postgraduate programmes in English. More information can be found under Education and Childcare.
The Hague’s economy benefits greatly from its status as International City of Peace and Justice. An economic impact survey by the research institute Decisio in 2020 showed that the presence of international organisations in The Hague and region directly and indirectly generates 40,000 jobs and 11% of employment is directly or indirectly related to the international organisations. The international non-profit sector (480 organisations in 2019) consists of intergovernmental organisations, European organisations, NGOs, embassies and consulates, cultural and knowledge institutions, international schools and expat and service clubs.
Not only is The Hague an important political city, it is also a key player in the Dutch economy being home to significant company headquarters including Aegon, APM Terminals, Damco, NIBC Bank, Chicago Bridge & Iron Company and PostNL. The city is also host to the regional headquarters of Siemens, T-Mobile, AT&T, Huawei, Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, Saudi Aramco and Total S.A.
You can look up the information you need on the website Den Haag in cijfers(external link). You can select a specific subject such as population, real estate, economy, work and salary, security, education, politics, public transport, ecology, and the city's districts. The information is presented in graphics, tables and maps.
The municipality and the Centraal Bureau voor Statistiek (CBS) are working together in a CBS Urban Data Centre (UDC). The UDC is conducting various studies, for example, into poverty and changes in health care. The municipality makes use of the data to improve the effectiveness in its policy in response to local needs. Read more on the website of the CBS(external link).