Rotterdam is after Amsterdam’s second largest city in the Netherlands and has great transport links important by the largest seaport in Europe (third largest in the world). Rotterdam has 607 406 inhabitants (as of 1 October 2010), as agglomeration Stadsregio Rotterdam 1.2 million (2006). She is on average two meters below sea level.
In addition to Amsterdam and The Hague, Rotterdam is one of the cultural centers of the Netherlands. Rotterdam has a university, several colleges, a conservatory and an art academy. It is the leading industrial and commercial city of the Netherlands. Particularly striking is the skyscraper skyline of Rotterdam, which has evolved over the past 20 years.
Rotterdam is located in the western Netherlands in the province of South Holland at the mouth of the Rhine into the North Sea (Rhine-Meuse delta) and is part of the conurbation Randstad. To narrow vicinity include major neighboring cities such as Rotterdam Schiedam, Vlaardingen and Dordrecht. Rotterdam is largely below sea level and is protected by dikes protected. The Prins Alexander Polder lies about six meters below NAP level. The deepest point of the occupied Netherlands, with -6 m in the Rotterdam metropolitan area, the lowest point of the Netherlands (including the unpopulated areas) to -6.76 m lies just east of the city limits in place Nieuwerkerk aan den IJssel. The highest point of the city is about six feet above the surrounding polders, but only two meters above sea level must constantly be drained by pumping, because the natural water table would otherwise be above the street level of Rotterdam.
The river Nieuwe Maas, a main branch of the Rhine delta, divides the city into a northern and a southern part. Contrary to what the river name implies, the Nieuwe Maas Rhine-arm in their southward migration flows since the last of the Rhine and Maas Maas little water. The real city center lies on the northern bank of the river, the southern district is dominated by the harbor and the former settlements of the dock workers began only in recent decades, center, is extended to the districts on the southern shore, especially on the part De Kop van Zuid (“Head of the South” – that is the northernmost part of the southern shore).
The population of Rotterdam is mixed regarding the origin and the cultural setting. Rotterdam is the only city in the Netherlands, which has the average age of the population decreased after 2000. The reason for this is mainly to immigration from Turkey, Morocco and Surinam. As the first city in the Netherlands Rotterdam received on 1 January 2009 with the current Dutch State Secretary for Social Affairs, Ahmed Aboutaleb (PvdA), a mayor of Moroccan descent with dual citizenship.