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Amsterdam's Red Light District

Amsterdam’s Red Light District

The Things You Didn’t Know About Amsterdam’s Red Light District

The Red Light District is the oldest area in Amsterdam and is by most people being seen as the entrance of Amsterdam. The area is known for its sex shops, coffeeshops and seed shops. What many visitors don’t know is that there are actually people living in the Red Light District. 8.060 people to be exactly. The unique mix of residential, shops and touristic features makes this the oldest part of town with many historic buildings, an attractive place for many residents and visitors.

The Red Light District in Amsterdam during daytime

Statistics of the Red Light District

Among the 8.060 inhabitants of Amsterdam’s Red Light District (zip code 1012), there are relative many 18 to 35 years olds. Those are mostly living alone, new citizens, natives and locals from Western countries. The Red Light District counts 4.966 houses. The proportion of private rental housing is high and only 10% is social housing. The average disposable household income is below average. This is due the high number of one-person households, there are few small earners in this area. The employment in the Red Light District decreased in recent years, but to proportion there are still many jobs.

The basic generation in Amsterdam’s Red Light District is small; approximately 200 children are living in this area. Only 7% of the 18 to 22 year olds prematurely dropped out of school and 81% have a basic qualification. It has 5.565 households. 69% of these households consist of one person. Of all the single households in Amsterdam’s Red Light District is 7.9% a 65+ household.

In this area, there are 22 student housing and just 9 houseboats registered. The surface of most houses in Amsterdam’s Red Light District aren’t registred (31%). For this reason, it isn’t possible to compare it to the rest of the city. From the 35% of the houses it is known that the surface is less than 60 square meters.

A white swan in Amsterdam's Red Light District

There are around 20.075 people who work in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. That’s a decrease of 8% (1.672 people) compared to the year 2002. The number of business establishments in this area has increased by 20% since 2002 to a total number of 3.549. This increase was influenced by a change in the law, which required all professions to be registered in the Chamber of Commerce. Including all sex workers.

In 2011 there were 652 catering and hotel establishments. This is 36% of the whole catering industry in Amsterdam. Amsterdam’s Red Light District has 112 hotels, 225 bars, 304 restaurants, 73 coffeeshops and 11 other catering services. The number of coffeeshops in the Red Light District will be reduced to 46 by the end of 2015.

In 2009, the average household income was 26.200 Euros. This lower than average in Amsterdam’s centre, which is 33.900 Euros.

Oudebrugsteeg and the Warmoesstraat in Amsterdam's Red Light District, a.k.a. "De Wallen".

Cultural facilities include a small part of public cultural institutions, foundations and largely as self-employed cultural practitioners. Amsterdam’s Red Light District contains around 250 cultural facilities, which employ 900 people. It offers a variety of popular attractions, such as The Old Church, the Hash Marihuana Hemp Museum, an hidden church, the Sex Museum, the New Church, the Beurs van Berlage, etc. The Sex Museum is by far the most popular attraction in this district. It attracts 537.000 visitors per year.

If you liked this article, then you’ll most definitely like the next post about the history of the Red Light District. CLICK HERE to read it.