The greying of the population will reach its peak in just over 30 years.
The number of emigrants is continually growing. In the first nine months of 2006, nearly 100 thousand people left the Netherlands to settle elsewhere.
The population of the Netherlands grew by fewer than 2 thousand people in the first half of 2006. In the same period last year, the increase was still as many as 7 thousand.
Over the next two decades the number of inhabitants in the Netherlands is expected to increase by 600 thousand, bringing the total to 16.9 million. The growth areas will be primarily in the provinces North and South Holland and Flevoland. The current decrease in the number of inhabitants in Limburg is expected to continue.
Over 22 thousand immigrants took up residence in the Netherlands in the first quarter of 2006. This is almost 2 thousand more than in the same period of 2005.
With only 30 thousand, the population increase in the Netherlands in 2005 was the lowest since 1900. On 1 January 2006, the population stood at 16.34 million.