Amsterdam Metropolitan Area in the top 5 of Europe
The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (AMA) is a region known for its high quality of life, with an attractive level of amenities, good public transport, and a relatively well-educated workforce. This economically diverse area, with varied urban and rural landscapes stretching from IJmuiden to Lelystad and from Purmerend to Haarlemmermeer, has a population of 2.4 million. The AMA is one of Europe’s five strongest economic regions. In combination with Brainport Eindhoven, the Rotterdam–The Hague metropolitan area and the Utrecht metropolitan area, the AMA is the engine of the Dutch economy.
Wide diversity as an economic strength
What is it that makes the economy of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area so strong? It’s the diversity. The region has a high concentration of both small and large innovative companies that develop and market new products and services. The startup and scale-up climate is robust and there is a broad range of innovation hubs and campuses. At the same time, there are universities of world stature, such as the University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, which provide a strong academic basis, as well as vocational courses and professional degree programmes that make a connection with everyday practice. The government bodies in the region (the provinces of Noord-Holland and Flevoland, the Transport Authority Amsterdam and 33 municipalities) cooperate closely, thus making good use of regional scale. The digital infrastructure is strong, which attracts many data centres and users. And of course, the region is also home to Schiphol and Lelystad airports, the Port of Amsterdam, the Zuidas business district, the Media Park in Hilversum, the flower auction in Aalsmeer, and Tata Steel in IJmuiden, and it is the home base of the global companies Ahold and Verkade in Zaanstad. In the region’s ecosystem, these parties engage with active citizens, city-makers and bottom-up initiatives via Pakhuis de Zwijger and Amsterdam Smart City.
Qualities and challenges
The region’s appeal also lies in its business climate and quality of life. It has historic cities such as Haarlem and Zaandam, and culture ranging from the Royal Concertgebouw and Rijksmuseum to the Institute for Sound and Vision and the Ziggo Dome. The region has history, with its canals, the fort island of Pampus, and the polders of Beemster and Flevoland. And there are natural landscapes, from the North Sea beaches to the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park, winding rivers such as the Vecht, and the lush green countryside of the Gooi.
The region also faces challenges, often associated with global transitions and the European economy. These challenges include ensuring that sufficient housing is available, that the entire metropolitan area is accessible, and that the population as a whole is able to share in the prosperity.
The Amsterdam Economic Board works to develop the smart, green and healthy metropolis of the future, for all the residents of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (AMA). We do so by accelerating the most important transitions of our time: the digital, circular and energy transitions. To make a concentrated contribution to these transitions, we focus on urban challenges and work with industry, universities and government to develop the future of the metropolitan area.