Most recent population forecast the Dutch population will not exceed 17.0 million in 2035. Subsequently, decline will set in. At present, there are 16.3 million people living in the Netherlands. In the short run, the growth of the population will remain low because emigrants will outnumber immigrants. In the long run, ageing of the population will cause it to decline. The share of non-western foreigners will increase from 10 percent in 2004 to 17 percent in 2050. The share of over-65s will grow from 14 percent in 2004 to a maximum of 24 percent around 2040.
In the third quarter of 2004 the Dutch population grew by almost 14 thousand, as against more than 20 thousand in the same period last year.
In the first six months of 2004 emigrants from the Netherlands outnumbered immigrants by 13 thousand, the largest net emigration since the 1950s. The main cause for the emigration surplus is a considerable decrease in immigration.
The Dutch population grew by 10 thousand in the first quarter of 2003. This is the lowest growth rate in over twenty years. The low growth was caused by a noticeable drop in the number of births and a further decrease in immigration. In the first quarter of 2004 emigration was higher than immigration.
The Dutch population numbered 16.3 million people on 1 January 2004, bringing population growth in 2003 to 62 thousand. This is the lowest rate of population growth in twenty years. The decrease in the population growth rate was mainly caused by a fall in immigration and an increase in emigration.