New classification of population by origin

2. The new classification by origin in brief

In 2022, CBS will adopt a different approach when publishing data on people currently referred to as having a first-generation or second-generation western or non-western migration background. There are two aspects to this new approach:

  1. Born in the Netherlands or abroad: classification by a person’s country of birth and that of their parents will replace the concepts of first and second generation. In classification by origin, the key element from now on will be whether a person was born in the Netherlands or abroad, and only secondarily whether a person’s parents were born here or elsewhere. Greater emphasis will also be placed on whether one or both parents were born in the Netherlands or abroad.
  2. Country of origin: a new classification based on continents and a few specific countries of origin will replace the classification according to western or non-western migration background. The new classification is a geographical division based on continents, consisting of several levels and ultimately linked to individual countries of origin.

Where possible, figures within the theme of migration and integration are categorised by whether or not a person was born in the Netherlands and by country of origin. The most informative and practically feasible classification by country of origin will be selected depending on the statistical themes  and the practical possibilities related to sample size. Section 4 explores the new classification in greater depth.

Gradual introduction from the start of 2022

Introducing a new classification for migrants and their children born in the Netherlands or abroad is not a straightforward undertaking, given the implications not only for statistics and data collection by CBS but also for the research and information needs of CBS’s partners and clients. The classification western/non-western forms the basis for many publications and plays a role in statistical processes such as sampling and weighting models. This is why, from the start of 2022, the new classification will be gradually implemented in statistics, tables in StatLine and other publications.