Zoetermeer is a city in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. The municipality covers an area of 37.06 km² (of which 2.15 km² is water). A small village until the late 1960s, it had 6,392 inhabitants in 1950. By 1 January 2010 this had grown to 121,580, making it the third largest population centre in the province of South Holland, after Rotterdam and The Hague. It is part of the Haaglanden conurbation. The name "Zoetermeer" (Dutch for "Sweet Lake") refers to the former fresh lake north of the town (reclaimed in 1614).