Immigration changing the Dutch population

CBS, the Dutch national statistics office, has released its quarterly report into the population of the Netherlands, revealing that despite the population growing to 16,8 million this year, the growth rate is actually slowing. The increase was due in part to increased migration to the Netherlands.

Immigration / Emigration

The first half of 2013 saw 68 thousand immigrants come to the Netherlands, a thousand more than this time last year. Most of these immigrants are coming from outside the EU, but immigration from countries in Eastern Europe is also high.

Since the start of 2010, more than 84 thousand immigrants have moved to the Netherlands from Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, while 56 thousand have migrated to those countries from here over the same period.

Other popular countries for migration are Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy. Over 44 thousand people from southern Europe have moved to the Netherlands over the last three and a half years, while 23 thousand people from here have moved south.

In both cases, the numbers show more people are staying than going. In the past six months, 64 thousand inhabitants left the Netherlands and emigrated abroad, four thousand less than in the first half of 2012.

The decline was almost evenly split between emigrants born in the Netherlands, other EU Member States and outside the EU. This migration increased from virtually zero in the first half of 2012 to four thousand in the past six months.

Birth & Death

The natural increase in population, that is, the number of births minus deaths, was nine thousand in the first half of 2013. That is six thousand less than a year earlier.

In 2012, the natural increase dropped to the lowest level since 1871, a decline that has continued over the past six months.

One example of this decline is that while 83 thousand children have been born so far this year, that number is four thousand less than by the same time last year. Especially, the number of births to younger women has decreased, which according to CBS is not unusual in an economic crisis.

Another is an increase in deaths. In the first half of 2013, 74 thousand people died, which was two thousand more than in the first half of 2012. This aligns with the growing number of elderly inhabitants, but that just because there are more older people, doesn’t mean there are a matching increase in deaths.

Over the period 2002-2011 the number of elderly also grew, only during this time, the number of deaths actually fell. What has changed over the last year and a half was bad luck, if you will: flu epidemics in 2012 and early 2013 and the relatively cold winter all contributed to this higher than previous mortality rate.

Source: CBS

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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