Staphorst is a municipality and a town in the eastern Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...



The villages of Staphorst and its southern neighbour Rouveen came into existence as in the 13th century monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

s started to bring the bog
A bog, quagmire or mire is a wetland that accumulates acidic peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses or, in Arctic climates, lichens....

s and swamp
A swamp is a wetland with some flooding of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water. A swamp generally has a large number of hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodical inundation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp...

s into culture. All the farms were built along the long road through the bog area. Thus a lengthy row of farms was built, becoming the 7 miles long village of Staphorst-Rouveen. This phenomenon is called in Dutch: lintbebouwing (ribbon urbanization). In many parts of the Netherlands this type of village is quite common, e.g. Vriezenveen
Vriezenveen is a town in the Dutch province of Overijssel. It is located in the municipality of Twenterand, about 7 km north of Almelo.Vriezenveen was a separate municipality until 2001, when it merged with Den Ham...

, the villages along river dykes in the Netherlands, the so-called moor-colonies in the provinces Drenthe and Groningen, as well as the German regions opposite the border. A specialty for Staphorst is, that after a farmer's death, his land was often divided between his sons. The son, who didn't inherit his father's farm, built a farm-house for his own behind the other. Therefore, many pieces of farmland are very lengthy, yet narrow (e.g. 1500 x 40 metres). Originally, each piece of land was 125 metres wide.
The farms are of the traditional Low Saxon type. They have green doors and window shutters. Most farms existing now were built between 1850 and 1910.


Staphorst is famous for people wearing traditional dress. Furthermore, it is one of the most religious towns of the Netherlands, with a lot of people attending Calvinist
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 church. The largest church is the 2300 seat Dorpskerk
Dorpskerk, Staphorst
The Dorpskerk of Staphorst is built in 1951 and situated in the towns centre. The 2,300 seats church is enlarged in 1991-92 and is still in use by the Restored Reformed Church.-External link:* ].]...

. Staphorst grinds to a halt on Sundays.

A large proportion of the population holds fundamentalist Christian beliefs, and oppose technologies such as television. This is in contrast to the permissive, libertarian tendency in Dutch law. Nevertheless, Staphorst has a big industrial area with small, but modern enterprises; on days other than Sundays, tourists are welcome (see below).

In 1971, Staphorst became world news due to an outbreak of polio. Certain inhabitants did not wish their children to be vaccinated against polio on religious grounds. They found that vaccination was against Divine Providence
Divine Providence
In Christian theology, divine providence, or simply providence, is God's activity in the world. " Providence" is also used as a title of God exercising His providence, and then the word are usually capitalized...

, in particular the Heidelberg Catechism
Heidelberg Catechism
The Heidelberg Catechism is a Protestant confessional document taking the form of a series of questions and answers, for use in teaching Reformed Christian doctrine...

. Due to this (and probably also due to laxity of other inhabitants in getting vaccinated) 39 people (mostly children) became infected with polio. Of these, five died and a number of others became disabled. Most inhabitants are now vaccinated, however 20% remain unvaccinated. As a result, Staphorst and other similar areas in the Netherlands are classified as risk areas by the WHO
Who may refer to:* Who , an English-language pronoun* who , a Unix command* Who?, one of the Five Ws in journalism- Art and entertainment :* Who? , a 1958 novel by Algis Budrys...

  – the only such area in Europe.

In 2005, Staphorst's municipal council (run by the SGP, which until 2006 banned women from politics) passed a measure to ban swearing, by 13 – 4 votes

Total Fertility Rate
The total fertility rate of a population is the average number of children that would be born to a woman over her lifetime if she were to experience the exact current age-specific fertility rates through her lifetime, and she...

 in Staphorst at 2.76 was 4th highest in all of Netherlands in 2003.
That makes Staphorst a place with one of the highest birth rate
Birth rate
Crude birth rate is the nativity or childbirths per 1,000 people per year . Another word used interchangeably with "birth rate" is "natality". When the crude birth rate is subtracted from the crude death rate, it reveals the rate of natural increase...

s in all of Europe.

Population centres

  • Halfweg
  • Leijen
  • Slingenberg
  • Hamingen
  • IJhorst
  • Lankhorst
  • Punthorst
  • Rouveen
    Rouveen is a village in the Dutch province of Overijssel. It is located in the municipality of Staphorst, about 4 km southwest of that town.-References:...

  • Staphorst


Staphorst lies only 5 km south of Meppel
Meppel is a municipality and a city in the northeast of the Netherlands, in the south-west of the province Drenthe.It developed in the 16th century as a transport and distribution inland harbour for turf...

 (province Drenthe
Drenthe is a province of the Netherlands, located in the north-east of the country. The capital city is Assen. It is bordered by Overijssel to the south, Friesland to the west, Groningen to the north, and Germany to the east.-History:Drenthe, unlike many other parts of the Netherlands, has been a...

). The village has a junction to the A28 motorway (Groningen – Zwolle
Zwolle is a municipality and the capital city of the province of Overijssel, Netherlands, 120 kilometers northeast of Amsterdam. Zwolle has about 120,000 citizens.-History:...

 – Amersfoort
Amersfoort is a municipality and the second largest city of the province of Utrecht in central Netherlands. The city is growing quickly but has a well-preserved and protected medieval centre. Amersfoort is one of the largest railway junctions in the country, because of its location on two of the...

). It is also situated along the railroad between these cities. The railway station was closed in 1970.

In Staphorst there are some factories producing all kinds of metallic/wooden goods. Many inhabitants are farmers, breeding cows.


  • In Staphorst, one of the traditional farm-houses is now a small, yet interesting museum about Staphorst history, traditions and farming. A thorough knowledge of the Dutch language is needed to understand that what is shown in this Museum Farm (Museumboerderij).
  • Near the village of IJhorst, east of Staphorst, you can walk in a large forest. There are also some camping sites.

A local regulation forbids anyone to take photographs and films of Staphorst inhabitants without their permission. Also, swearing and cursing are strictly forbidden.

Demographics (2007)

Staphorst had a sustainable birth rate till the beginning of 21st century. But during the 2000–2007 period birth rate plummeted considerably.
  • Birth Rate: 15.79 per 1000 (Down from 18.96 in 2000).
  • Death Rate: 6.98 per 1000.
  • NGR: +0.88%

External links

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