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Fewer Dutch people marrying and having children08 February 2014, by Alexandra Gowling
In 2013, the number of people who got married in the Netherlands dropped significantly, according to national statistics bureau CBS.
The total number of marriages and registered partnerships last year was 6.000 less than in 2012, a decrease that was seen wholly in marriages. By contrast, the number of registered partnerships grew by 300.
Difference between marriage and registered partnership
In a marriage, the spouse's name is automatically recorded on the birth certificate, whereas in a partnership, the partner of the mother must formally recognise the child.
Registered partnerships are also much more common on Monday mornings, when both ceremonies may be conducted for free.
The bureau attributed this decline to the economic crisis. The costs charged by municipalities for marriage and partnership ceremonies are the same, however, and precisely why marriage seems less preferred in times of economic hardship was not elaborated upon.
Fewer children born in the Netherlands
There were 5.000 fewer children born in 2012, continuing a decline that began in 2010 and is especially noticeable among twenty-somethings.
CBS attributes this decline not to a decrease in the number of Dutch women of childbearing age, but rather to the economic crisis, which the bureau suggests has led to people postponing or even abandoning their plans to have (more) children.
More people moving house
People were more willing to shell out the costs of moving house, however, with 7.000 more people opting to find a new house in 2013 than in 2012. Nevertheless, this was still nine per cent less than in 2008 before the crisis.
Those moving were mostly single people and unmarried couples: the numbers in both groups were up by three per cent. The number of married couples changing residences, on the other hand, fell by nearly four per cent.
More people moving to the Netherlands
There were 162.000 immigrants to the Netherlands in 2013, 4.000 more than in 2012. The largest group of migrants came from Poland, with almost 10.000 Polish-born people settling the Netherlands last year. The numbers of immigrants from Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain were stable.
The number of emigrants leaving the Netherlands remained the same, at 144.000, further evidence that immigration is changing the Dutch population.