I would like to do some GIS mapping of the Netherlands, but I am having trouble finding official data files for the following:

  • ESRI shapefiles for postcodes.
  • Census (population) data for postcodes.
  • And/or lookup files to relate postcodes to other Census small areas (if they exist)

Of course I'm hampered by not speaking Dutch. Can anyone direct me to such data -preferably governmental data not commercial data.

  • A lot of data is available from Statistics Netherlands, their database is freely accessible, but frankly, it is not exactly intuitive. Even if you speak Dutch :-)
    – Berend
    Dec 14 '15 at 9:16

Things have changed since 2015 I guess, currently there are multiple free methods to obtain data and geometry of postal codes. It is unfortunately slightly harder to find when one cannot read Dutch.

I've summarized the different ways of obtaining postal code data of The Netherlands below, the methods may lead to the same data.

  • On the page "Kerncijfers per postcode" ("Key postal code figures") of the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) you can find recent (2018-2020) demographic data in a shapefile on a PC4 level1.
    The same page has older (2008-2017) data on a PC5 and PC6 level.
  • PDOK provides geographic data in The Netherlands. Amongst other things they have a WFS and WMS feed for the same CBS PC4 and PC6 data.
    • Note that the PDOK services are limited to 1000 records per call. If you want to retrieve all data, you need to use paging, by appending this parameter: &startindex={starting at this 0-based index}

    • PDOK has a QGIS plugin allowing you to easily add the postal code data in QGIS as a layer, without manually downloading the shapefile.

    • To retrieve the number of residents per PC4 zone in 2017 you could use the following URL parameters:


1. PC4 indicates that only the first four characters of the postal code are used as a key, e.g. if the full postal code is 1011AA, the data aggregates information for all postal codes starting with 1011.
Similarly PC5 refers to the first 5 characters (e.g. all postal codes starting with 1011A). PC6 is equal to the full postal code.

  • Wow. It's a long time since I thought about this. But great answer I've accepted it as preferred for any new readers. Apr 3 at 15:40

Think, this is the best, you can find. It is in Dutch, so you need to keep google translator tab opened, but it has a lot of valuable census data for 3 agregation levels like regions, disticts, neighborhoods (buurt). For each neighborhood, if I'm not mistaken, there is a most common postal code. Hope it'll help, what kind of research are you doing btw?

  • 1
    This also can help Jan 8 '16 at 20:51
  • Thanks. Had been thinking about disease mapping but things have moved on and I'm no longer working on that. Thanks for the information in any case! Jan 22 '16 at 7:49


PostNL has been assigned by the Dutch government to carry out the UPD (Universele Postdienst, Dutch for Universal Postal Service). This means that PostNL has to deliver mail throughout the Netherlands, five days a week (Tuesday through Saturday), and have enough mailboxes and post offices available for posting mail. ACM is charged with monitoring and enforcing the execution by PostNL


The Basic version is a merged database containing the postal code ranges € 609.00 ex VAT (ex Taxes) (in euros)

The professional version is available as merged or normalized database, which covers the zip code ranges building numbers. The house numbers are also complemented by a number of characteristics such as coordinates € 999.00 ex VAT (ex Taxes) (in euros)


Demo Data https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=nl&tl=en&u=https://www.postcode.nl/producten/nationale-postcodedatabase-demobestanden&usg=ALkJrhicC_c0mgJD4H4Uf_ys4rUxusUIxw

Official Site is https://www.postcode.nl/

  • Thank you Mapperz but those files don't seem to include shapefiles which is what I need (unless I'm missing something). I also need to be able to relate postcodes to population data. This seems much harder in Holland than for example the UK Apr 16 '15 at 14:07
  • you have to use a GIS to make them QGIS will do it easily. There is NO official shapefiles for dutch postcodes without coming from a commercial business
    – Mapperz
    Apr 16 '15 at 14:22
  • or pay a commercial company gfk-geomarketing.com/en/digital_maps/netherlands.html to get shapefiles directly
    – Mapperz
    Apr 16 '15 at 14:31

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