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Flevoland wapen.svg
Coat of arms
Anthem: "Waar wij steden doen verrijzen..."
"Where we make cities arise..."
Flevoland in the Netherlands.svg
Location of Flevoland in the Netherlands
Flevoland by Sentinel-2, 2018-06-30.jpg
Coordinates: 52°32′N5°40′E / 52.533°N 5.667°E / 52.533; 5.667 Coordinates: 52°32′N5°40′E / 52.533°N 5.667°E / 52.533; 5.667
Country Netherlands
Capital Lelystad
Largest city Almere
   King's Commissioner Leen Verbeek (PvdA)
  Council States of Flevoland
 (2017) [1]
  Total2,412 km2 (931 sq mi)
  Land1,412 km2 (545 sq mi)
  Water1,000 km2 (400 sq mi)
Area rank 10th
 (1 January 2020) [2]
  Rank 11th
  Density299/km2 (770/sq mi)
  Density rank 8th
ISO 3166 code NL-FL
HDI (2018)0.912 [3]
very high · 9th

Flevoland (Dutch:  [ˈfleːvoːlɑnt] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is the 12th and youngest province of the Netherlands, established in 1986, when the Southern and Eastern Flevopolders, together with the Noordoostpolder were merged into one provincial entity. It is in the centre of the country in the former Zuiderzee, which was turned into the freshwater IJsselmeer by the closure of the Afsluitdijk in 1932. Almost all of the land belonging to Flevoland was reclaimed in the 1950s and 1960s [4] while splitting the Markermeer and Bordering lakes from the IJsselmeer. As to dry land, it is the smallest province of the Netherlands at 1,412 km2 (545 sq mi), but not gross land as that includes much of the waters of the fresh water lakes (meres) mentioned. [5] The province has a population of 423,021 [5] as of January 2020 and consists of six municipalities. Its capital is Lelystad and its most populous city is Almere.


Flevoland is bordered in the extreme north by Friesland, in the northeast by Overijssel, and in the northwest by the lakes Markermeer and IJsselmeer. In the southeast, the province borders on Gelderland, and in the southwest on Utrecht and North Holland.


Flevoland was named after Lacus Flevo, a name recorded in Roman sources for a large inland lake at the southern end of the later-formed Zuiderzee; it was mentioned by the Roman geographer Pomponius Mela in his De Chorographia in 44 AD. Due to the slowly rising sea level, a number of lakes gradually developed in the Zuiderzee region, which eventually became contiguous. Pomponius wrote about this: "The northern branch of the Rhine extends to Lake Flevo, which encloses an island of the same name and then flows to the sea like a normal river." Other sources speak of Flevum, which means 'flow'. The process continued and gradually the Zuiderzee arose from this lake. The names "Flevoland" and "Vlieland" have the same origin. Between 790 and 1250, Lake Flevo became connected with the North Sea. As a result, a number of villages were swallowed by the sea. The newly created inland sea was called Almere. The city of Almere is named after this lake.


After a flood in 1916, the decision was made to enclose and reclaim the Zuiderzee, an inland sea within the Netherlands, and thus the Zuiderzee Works started. Other sources [6] indicate other times and reasons, but also agree that in 1932, the Afsluitdijk was completed, which closed off the sea completely. The Zuiderzee was later divided into IJsselmeer (mere at the end of the river IJssel) and Markermeer, planned to be mostly drained to make the Markerwaard. The Markerwaard was never built due to post-War fiscal austerity.[ citation needed ]

The first land reclaimed was the northeast polder ( Noordoostpolder ) in 1942. This took in the former small islands Urk and Schokland. It was at first added to the Province of Overijssel.

In the southwest the Flevopolder larger than the above was then reclaimed; its southeast half in 1957 and other parts by 1968.

A key feature of the latter is a narrow body of water, kept at 3 metres below sea level, along the old coastline to stabilise the water table and to prevent coastal towns from losing their waterfront and access to the sea. Thus, the Flevopolder became an artificial island joined to the mainland by bridges. The municipalities on the three parts voted to become a province, shortly before this was effected in 1986.


Zuiderzee Works

Map of Flevoland, 2018 2018-P12-Flevoland.jpg
Map of Flevoland, 2018
Northeastern Flevoland: Noordoostpolder Noordoostpolder by Sentinel-2, 2018-06-30.jpg
Northeastern Flevoland: Noordoostpolder
Eastern and Southern Flevoland: Flevopolder Flevopolder by Sentinel-2, 2018-06-30.jpg
Eastern and Southern Flevoland: Flevopolder

Eastern Flevoland (Oostelijk Flevoland or Oost-Flevoland) and Southern Flevoland (Zuidelijk Flevoland or Zuid-Flevoland), unlike the Noordoostpolder, have broad channel between them and the mainland: the Veluwemeer and Gooimeer, respectively, making them, together, the world's largest artificial island.

They are two polders with a joint hydrological infrastructure, with a dividing dike in the middle, the Knardijk, that will keep one polder safe if the other is flooded. The two main drainage canals that traverse the dike can be closed by floodgates in such an event. The pumping stations are the Wortman (diesel powered) at Lelystad-Haven, the Lovink near Harderwijk on the eastern dike and the Colijn (both electrically powered) along the northern dike beside the Ketelmeer.

A new element in the design of Eastern Flevoland is the larger city Lelystad (1966), named after Cornelis Lely, the man who had played a crucial role in designing and realising the Zuiderzee Works. Other more conventional settlements already existed by then; Dronten, the major local town, was founded in 1962, followed by two smaller satellite villages, Swifterbant and Biddinghuizen, in 1963. These three were incorporated in the new municipality of Dronten on 1 January 1972.

Southern Flevoland has only one pumping station, the diesel-powered De Blocq van Kuffeler. Because of the hydrological union of the two Flevolands, it simply joins the other three in maintaining the water level of both polders. Almere relieves the housing shortage and increasing overcrowding on the old land. Its name is derived from the early medieval name for Lake Almere. Almere was to be divided into three major settlements initially; the first, Almere-Haven (1976) situated along the coast of the Gooimeer (one of the peripheral lakes), the second and largest was to fulfill the role of city centre as Almere-Stad (1980), and the third was Almere-Buiten (1984) to the northwest towards Lelystad. In 2003, the municipality made a new Structuurplan which started development of three new settlements: Overgooi in the southeast, Almere-Hout in the east, and Almere-Poort in the West. In time, Almere-Pampus could be developed in the northwest, with possibly a new bridge over the IJmeer towards Amsterdam.

The Oostvaardersplassen is a landscape of shallow pools, islets, and swamps. Originally, this low part of the new polder was destined to become an industrial area. Spontaneous settlement of interesting flora and fauna turned the area into a nature park, of such importance that the new railway line was diverted. The recent decline in agricultural land use will in time make expanding natural land use possible, and connect the Oostvaardersplassen to the Veluwe.

The centre of the polder most closely resembles the prewar polders in that it is almost exclusively agricultural. In contrast, the southeastern part is dominated by extensive forests. Here is also found the only other settlement of the polder, Zeewolde (1984), again a more conventional town acting as the local centre. Zeewolde became a municipality at the same time as Almere on 1 January 1984, which in the case of Zeewolde meant that the municipality existed before the town itself, with only farms in the surrounding land to be governed until the town started to grow.


  1. Almere – far west of southern island
  2. Dronten – far east of southern island
  3. Lelystad – middle of northern edge of southern island
  4. Noordoostpolder – most of north-eastern polder
  5. Urk – small area on west of north-eastern polder
  6. Zeewolde – southern part of southern island
Gemeenten in Flevoland GemeentenFlevolandNrs.png
Gemeenten in Flevoland


Religion in Flevoland (2015) [7]

  Not religious (55.2%)
   Catholicism (12.2%)
  Other (9.9%)
  Islam (7.2%)


Leen Verbeek, the King's Commissioner of Flevoland Leen Verbeek.jpg
Leen Verbeek, the King's Commissioner of Flevoland

The King's Commissioner of Flevoland is Leen Verbeek, [8] who is a member of the Labour Party (Netherlands) (PvDA). The States of Flevoland have 41 seats. At the provincial elections in March 2019, Forum for Democracy was the big winner of the elections. The party came new in the States with 8 seats, and is with those the biggest party. The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy is second largest with 6 seats, after which the Party for Freedom and GreenLeft both have 4 seats. Christian Democratic Appeal, Labour Party, and ChristianUnion all have 3 seats. Socialist Party, 50PLUS, Democrats 66 and Party for the Animals have 2 seats, where the Reformed Political Party and Denk, another new party in the States, have 1 seat. [9]


The Gross domestic product (GDP) of the province was 14 billion € in 2018, accounting for 1.8% of the Netherlands economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 29,500 € or 98% of the EU27 average in the same year. [10]



Almere Centrum railway station Station Almere centraal.JPG
Almere Centrum railway station
Lelystad Centrum railway station Station Lelystad C.jpg
Lelystad Centrum railway station

The Flevopolder is served by the Flevolijn, running from Weesp to Lelystad, and the Hanzelijn, continuing from Lelystad towards Zwolle. The two railways stations of the province with intercity services are Almere Centrum and Lelystad Centrum.

TrajectoryRailway stations in Flevoland
Weesp–Lelystad North HollandAlmere PoortAlmere MuziekwijkAlmere CentrumAlmere ParkwijkAlmere BuitenAlmere OostvaardersLelystad Centrum
Lelystad–Zwolle Lelystad CentrumDrontenOverijssel

Furthermore, Lelystad Zuid is a planned railway station between Almere Oostvaarders and Lelystad Centrum. It has been partially constructed preceding the opening of the railway in 1988, but construction has been put on indefinite hold because of slower-than-expected development of the city of Lelystad.

Amongst the cities with direct train connections to Flevoland are Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Zwolle, Groningen, Leeuwarden and Schiphol Airport.


There is one airport in the province: Lelystad Airport. A second airport, Noordoostpolder Airport near Emmeloord, was closed in the late 1990s due to town expansion.


Related Research Articles

Lelystad City and Municipality in Flevoland, Netherlands

Lelystad is a municipality and a city in the centre of the Netherlands, and it is the capital of the province of Flevoland. The city, built on reclaimed land, was founded in 1967 and was named after Cornelis Lely, who engineered the Afsluitdijk, making the reclamation possible. Lelystad is approximately 3 metres below sea level.

IJsselmeer Lake in the Netherlands

The IJsselmeer, also known as Lake IJssel in English, is a closed off inland bay in the central Netherlands bordering the provinces of Flevoland, North Holland and Friesland. It covers an area of 1,100 km2 (420 sq mi) with an average depth of 5.5 m (18 ft). The river IJssel flows into the IJsselmeer.

Zuiderzee Former inland sea in the Netherlands, now the IJsselmeer

The Zuiderzee or Zuider Zee was a shallow bay of the North Sea in the northwest of the Netherlands, extending about 100 km inland and at most 50 km wide, with an overall depth of about 4 to 5 metres (13–16 feet) and a coastline of about 300 km. It covered 5,000 km2 (1,900 sq mi). Its name is Dutch for "southern sea", indicating that the name originates in Friesland, to the north of the Zuiderzee. In the 20th century the majority of the Zuiderzee was closed off from the North Sea by the construction of the Afsluitdijk, leaving the mouth of the inlet to become part of the Wadden Sea. The salt water inlet changed into a fresh water lake now called the IJsselmeer after the river that drains into it, and by means of drainage and polders, an area of some 1,500 km2 (580 sq mi) was reclaimed as land. This land eventually became the province of Flevoland, with a population of nearly 400,000 (2011).

Zuiderzee Works Land reclamation in the Netherlands

The Zuiderzee Works is a man-made system of dams and dikes, land reclamation and water drainage work, in total the largest hydraulic engineering project undertaken by the Netherlands during the twentieth century. The project involved the damming of the Zuiderzee, a large, shallow inlet of the North Sea, and the reclamation of land in the newly enclosed water using polders. Its main purposes are to improve flood protection and create additional land for agriculture.

Almere City and municipality in Flevoland, Netherlands

Almere is a planned city and municipality in the province of Flevoland, Netherlands, bordering Lelystad and Zeewolde. The municipality of Almere comprises six official areas that are the districts of Almere Stad, Almere Buiten and Almere Pampus, and the boroughs of Almere Haven, Almere Hout and Almere Poort. Four of them feature official district or borough offices. Furthermore, it also comprises the unofficial historic district and neighborhood Oostvaardersdiep, which has an active semi-self-governing community, and the planned district of Almere Oosterwold. Almere is part of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (MRA).

Urk Municipality in Flevoland, Netherlands

Urk is a municipality and a town in the Flevoland province in the central Netherlands.

Zeewolde Municipality in Flevoland, Netherlands

Zeewolde is a municipality and a town in the Flevoland province in the central Netherlands. It has a population of approximately 22,000 (2017). It is situated in the polder of Flevoland with the small lake called the Wolderwijd to the east. To the south is a large deciduous forest called the Horsterwold. The area to the west is principally agricultural.


The Oostvaardersplassen is a nature reserve in the Netherlands, which is managed by the State Forestry Service. Covering about 56 square kilometres (22 sq mi), it is noted as an experiment of rewilding. It is in a polder which was created in 1968; by 1989, its ecological interest had resulted in its being declared a Ramsar wetland. It became part of Nieuw Land National Park when it was created in 2018.


The Markerwaard is the name of a proposed, but never built, polder adjoining the IJsselmeer in the central Netherlands. Its construction would have resulted in the near-total reclamation of the Markermeer.

Tollebeek Village in Flevoland, Netherlands

Tollebeek is a village in the Dutch province of Flevoland. It is a part of the municipality of Noordoostpolder, and is approximately 90 kilometres north east of Amsterdam.

Lake Flevo Former lake in what is now the Netherlands

Lake Flevo was a lake in what is now the Netherlands, which existed in Roman times and the early Middle Ages. Some geographers believe that this lake was not really a single lake, rather a set of several lakes connected to each other.


The Flevopolder is an island polder forming the bulk of Flevoland, a province of the Netherlands. Created by land reclamation, its northeastern part was drained in 1955 and the remainder—the southwest—in 1968.


The Gooimeer is a bordering lake in the Netherlands between the southeastern part of North Holland and Flevoland.


The Houtribdijk is a dam in the Netherlands, built between 1963 and 1975 as part of the Zuiderzee Works, which connects the cities of Lelystad and Enkhuizen. On the west side of the dike is the Markermeer and on the east is the IJsselmeer. The 27-kilometer-long dike was intended for the Markerwaard, but this polder is now unlikely to be constructed.

Almere Centrum railway station

Almere Centrum is a railway station in Almere, Netherlands. It is located approximately 22 kilometres east of Amsterdam. The station lies on the Weesp–Lelystad railway. Almere Centrum is located in central Almere: a new town established in 1976 on land reclaimed from the sea. Almere Centrum has two platforms and four tracks, and was opened in 1987 following the completion of the Flevolijn between Weesp railway station and Lelystad Centrum. The station's original name was Almere Central Station (CS), but it was renamed in 1999 to Almere Centrum.

Almere Parkwijk railway station

Almere Parkwijk is a railway station which lies in Almere, in the Netherlands. It is located approximately 24 km east of Amsterdam. It is on the Weesp–Lelystad railway. The station is on the newest polder in the Netherlands, the Flevopolder which is in the Flevoland province. The station was opened on 1 February 1996. Although the station was built 9 years after the other Almere stations it is styled in the same way as Almere Muziekwijk and Almere Buiten.

Markermeer Lake in the central Netherlands

The Markermeer is a 700 km2 (270 sq mi) lake in the central Netherlands in between North Holland, Flevoland, and its smaller and larger neighbors, the IJmeer and IJsselmeer. A shallow lake at 3 to 5 m in depth, matching the reclaimed land to its west, north-west and east it is named after the small former island, now peninsula, of Marken on its west shore.

Pilot Polder Andijk

The pilot Polder Andijk, or Test Polder Andijk, Proefpolder Andijk in Dutch, is a polder established in 1926 - 1927 in the Zuiderzee near the village of Andijk. The aim of this prototype is to study the embankments and agriculture for future polders in the Zuiderzee Works. In 1929, the pilot polder was inaugurated by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands.

Almere (lake) Former lake of the Netherlands

Lake Almere was an inland lake in the place of today's IJsselmeer in the center of the Netherlands.

Land reclamation in the Netherlands

Land reclamation in the Netherlands has a long history. As early as in the 14th century, the first reclaimed land had been settled. Much of the modern land reclamation has been done as a part of the Zuiderzee Works since 1918.


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  2. "CBS Statline". opendata.cbs.nl.
  3. "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". hdi.globaldatalab.org. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  4. How it works : science and technology . New York: Marshall Cavendish. 2003. p.  1208. ISBN   0761473238.
  5. 1 2 "Regionale kerncijfers Nederland" [Regional key figures Netherlands]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 17 June 2020. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  6. "Pagina niet gevonden". Provincie Flevoland. 21 February 2019. Archived from the original on 3 August 2013.
  7. Helft Nederlanders is kerkelijk of religieus, CBS, 22 december 2016
  8. "Leen Verbeek". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
  9. "Uitslag Provinciale Statenverkiezingen 2019". Provincie Flevoland. 25 March 2019.
  10. "Regional GDP per capita ranged from 30% to 263% of the EU average in 2018". Eurostat.