In 2001, 133 thousand immigrants arrived in the Netherlands equalling the record of the previous year. Total emigration was about 82 thousand people in 2001.
The migration surplus did not peak, however, in 2001. The difference between the numbers of immigrants and emigrants was 51 thousand, 3 thousand lower than in 2000.
Non-western countries add most to surplus
Immigration of people born in western countries was around 68 thousand in 2001. At 63 thousand emigration was not much less.
Immigration by country of birth
The number of immigrants from non-western countries was in the same order of magnitude in 2001: 65 thousand. However, the number of emigrants from these countries was much lower at 19 thousand. Most of the migration surplus (46 thousand people) is indeed made up of people born in non-western countries.
Emigration by country of birth
Increase in immigration mainly asylum seekers and relatives
The recent increase in immigration was strongest among Asians, Africans and East-Europeans. Most of them are asylum seekers and family reunion migrants.
Immigration from the EU countries, the United States and Japan has hardly increased in recent years. People from these countries usually come to the Netherlands in connection with their work and the labour shortage has hardly led to more immigration from these regions.
Netherlands Antilles, Turkey, Morocco and Afghanistan
Relatively large numbers of immigrants in 2001 came from the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba (8.3 thousand), Turkey (6.0 thousand), Morocco (5.2 thousand) and Afghanistan (4.4 thousand). Immigrants from Turkey and Morocco are mainly marriage partners and relatives, those from Afghanistan are mainly refugees.
Strong increase in immigration from former Soviet Union
The number of immigrants born in the former Soviet Union has been remarkably high in recent years. In 2000 and 2001 there were 6 thousand immigrants from these countries, including many asylum seekers. In 1999 the number was only half as large.
Arno Sprangers and Joop Garssen