The population of the Netherlands at the end of the 17th century was estimated at 2 million. By 1829, at the time of the first national census, this number had increased to 2.6 million. In 1950, it was 10.2 million; in 1970, 13.1 million; in 1990, 14.9 mil lion; and in 2005, 16.4 million. In 2004, the mean life expectancy at birth was 76.9 years for men and 81.4 for women. Child mortality (0–5 years) is 1.0 per thousand. The mean age at marriage is 35.4 for men and 32.3 for women. Divorce rates rose from 2.2 per thousand in 1960 to 8.9 per thousand in 2004. DEN BOSCH. See ’S HERTOGENBOSCH. DEN HELDER.Asmall city (population44,000) at the head of Northern Hollandthat has been known as the home base of the Dutch Navy. Dur ing the Napoleonic Wars, a navy harbor was built. English and Russian troops invaded the harbor in 1799, and then it was fortified under Napoleon. After the digging of the Noordhollands Kanaal (1819– 1825), Den Helder flourished as the outport of Amsterdam until the Noordzeekanaal (from Amsterdam to IJmuiden) was opened in 1876. World WarIIwas another tragic episode in the city’s history. After sev eral bombardments, the Germans decided to demolish it partially. A new center was built after the war. The present port is also used for off shore activities and for the ferry to the Waddenisle of Texel.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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