In earlier days Vlieland used to be larger. The northern part of Texel, Eierland, was once a part of Vlieland. Due to the emergence of the Eierlandse Gat, this part was split off from Vlieland. Just like Terschelling, Vlieland used to belong to the province of Noord Holland until 1942. During the Second World War Vlieland was allocated to Friesland and has remained a part of Friesland ever since.
The only village gracing the island is situated on the east side. It has about 1000 inhabitants.