Due to rising prices of fish, at present Urk is a very prosperous village.
In the past, many lives were lost in storms on the Zuiderzee and North Sea.
The southwest side of Urk, which rose perpendicularly out of the sea, was called het Hoge Klif ("the High Cliff").
Around 1700 the municipality of Amsterdam gave sea defences to Urk.
There is a memorial to lost fishermen on Urk, popularly known as the "Urker vrouw": a statue of a woman looking out to sea, vainly awaiting the return of her husband and sons.
Because there was no sea defence, in the course of time large pieces of the island were eroded away.None of these parties can be described as either left-wing (socialist) or liberal.National parties such as the VVD (conservative/liberal), D66 (liberal), Groen Links (green party) and Pvd A (labour) are not represented in Urk's town council and support for these parties in national and regional elections remains minimal.However, due to slowly growing support for the VVD, an Urk affiliate of the conservative/liberal party was founded in early 2011 and entered the 2014 local elections.
However, the VVD only drew 2.7% of the vote, insufficient for a seat.
North of the boulder clay highland of Urk, the Vecht river flowed into the Almere, while the river IJssel with tributaries flowed into the south of Urk.