Murder rate in the Netherlands plunges

Murder rate in the Netherlands plunges

According to figures from Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the number of cases involving murder or manslaughter dropped significantly last year.

Fewer violent deaths

In 2018, 119 people suffered a violent death, 39 less than the year before. The number of murders in the Netherlands has thus fallen by 25 percent. Since the start of this century, the number of murders has decreased by half.

The latest figures from CBS show that, in particular, fewer men were murdered last year, 76 as opposed to 112 in 2017. The number of women’s lives being brought to an end remained pretty much the same, 43 compared with 46 a year earlier.

How did the majority die?

The majority of the women killed in 2018 died at the hand of their (ex) partner. Often, these cases involved relationship problems or the threat of a divorce. An argument often preceded the murder, with the majority of women being strangled or stabbed to death in their own homes.

When it comes to men, the majority met their end via a firearm or knife, and in a third of cases, the victim was killed by someone they knew. One in five cases involved the criminal underworld; these murders are premeditated and well organised, so it is harder for the police to find the perpetrator.

Between 2014 and 2018, a total of 554 residents in the Netherlands were murdered, 43 percent of male victims had a non-western migration background, men with this background were, therefore, six times more likely to be murdered than Dutch men. Of the female victims, 26 percent shared this background and were three times more likely to be murdered than Dutch women.

Those with a western-migration background also had a greater chance of being murdered compared to Dutch natives. Men with this background were twice as likely to be killed compared to men with a Dutch background.

Murder capital in the Netherlands

In 2018, the most murders occurred in the three biggest Dutch cities, with Amsterdam (14) heading the list. Rotterdam and The Hague follow with 12 and 10 murders respectively.

When looking at the perpetrators of such a crime, one thing that jumps off the page is the fact that 90 percent of them are men. Around half of the culprits are between 25 and 45 years old and a quarter is between 18 and 25 years old. Of the offenders convicted in 2018, almost 45 percent had a non-western migration background and 39 percent had a Dutch background.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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