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Baby Chris is 500,000th resident of The Hague

Published: 01 September 2011 Modified: 19 September 2011

The Hague welcomed its 500,000th resident on 1 September. To salute the city’s milestone the bells of the Grote Kerk tolled, cannon shots were fired on the Plein and Dutch rusks with green and yellow aniseed comfits were doled out by aldermen and students from ROC Mondriaan.

Mayor Van Aartsen holding Baby Chris seated next to mother Linda. Photo by Inge van Mill.

Mayor Van Aartsen holding Baby Chris seated next to mother Linda. Photo by Inge van Mill.

Mayor Jozias van Aartsen then biked to Scheveningen to pay a visit to the parents and newborn, Christopher Roelands from Duindorp. During a visit to the home of Chris’s grandparents, the mayor conveyed his congratulations on behalf of the city of The Hague.

The baby, who was born on 23 August 2011, was showered with gifts sponsored by local businesses. The mayor himself presented him with a small balance bike. The proud first-time parents, Linda and Dennie Roelands, both received a bicycle with a child’s seat.

‘Breaking through the boundary of 500,000 residents is a major milestone for the city’, the mayor said during the visit to the Roelands family.

Growth of The Hague

The Hague is the third largest city in the Netherlands. The city passed the 500,000 mark once before in 1950 and the population peaked between 1957 and 1966 with more than 600,000 inhabitants. However, just as in many other big cities the number of residents thereafter declined sharply as families with children fled the cities for the suburbs and commuter towns where they could have more space.

The Hague’s population began to grow again in 2002 when the city was given more space to develop new residential areas. The Hague also stands out as the international city of peace and justice, which brings with it a large number of international residents. All of this has contributed towards reaching the half-million mark.

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