Groningen tops ranking of healthy Dutch cities, Rotterdam comes last

Groningen tops ranking of healthy Dutch cities, Rotterdam comes last

Groningen has once again been named the healthiest city in the Netherlands, while The Hague, Amsterdam, and Rotterdam occupy three of the bottom five spots in a recent ranking published by Arcadis. 

The Healthy City Index 2022

Published every two years by engineering company Arcadis, the Gezonde Stad Index, or Healthy City Index is based on research conducted by the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM), and examines 20 Dutch cities, scoring and ranking them all across five categories: 

  • Mobility
  • Outdoor spaces
  • (Natural) Environment
  • Built environment
  • Community  

2022 marks only the second edition of the index, but Arcadis notes that the overall health of each city included has improved since 2020, regardless of their standing in the ranking. This year’s index notes how society has changed as a result of and in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

On the whole, Dutch cities have evolved after jobs in the Netherlands became more remote-friendly, with many areas pushing to include more green and public spaces for those who now work part-time or full-time from home. Cars are also given less space in most cities, with councils and municipalities instead prioritising the experience of pedestrians and cyclists instead of motorists

Groningen once again ranked healthiest city in the Netherlands

For the second time, Groningen has nabbed the top spot in the ranking, coming in the top 10 in all five of the assessed categories. The city’s best and worst performances were in the built environment and outdoor spaces categories, where it came in first and 10th place respectively. 

While the top spots in the ranking are occupied by some of the Netherlands' smaller cities, the four major cities - Amsterdam, Utrecht, Rotterdam, and The Hague - all claim spaces in the bottom half of the ranking, Utrecht achieved the best overall score, coming in 14th place behind Leeuwarden, while Rotterdam claimed the bottom spot after performing especially poorly in the community, natural environment, and outdoor spaces categories. 

Which Dutch cities are the healthiest?

Interested to find out how your city performed? Check out the full ranking below: 

  1. Groningen
  2. Emmen
  3. Apeldoorn
  4. Nijmegen
  5. Maastricht
  6. Almere
  7. Amersfoort
  8. Haarlem
  9. Enschede
  10. Breda
  11. Arnhem
  12. Eindhoven
  13. Leeuwarden
  14. Utrecht
  15. Terneuzen
  16. The Hague
  17. Tilburg
  18. Amsterdam
  19. Zaanstad
  20. Rotterdam

For more information, visit the Arcadis website.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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