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Bochum acquired city status, incorporating neighbouring towns and villages.
Additional population gains came from immigration, primarily from Poland.
In 1321, Count Engelbert II von der Marck granted Bochum a town charter, but the town remained insignificant until the 19th century, when the coal mining and steel industries emerged in the Ruhr area, leading to the growth of the entire region.
The population of Bochum increased from about 4,500 in 1850 to 100,000 in 1904.
After the war, the new state of North Rhine-Westphalia was established, consisting of the Rhineland and Westphalia. In the postwar period, Bochum began developing as a cultural centre of the Ruhr area.