Nearly 850 thousand people with more than one nationality

On 1 January 2002, 848 thousand people in the Netherlands had more than one nationality. This is more than twice the number on 1 January 1995. Nearly half of these people had a Turkish or Moroccan nationality in addition to the Dutch nationality.

Naturalisations push numbers up

The doubling in the number of people with more than one nationality was caused by the large number of naturalisations of non-Dutch people. Most of these people retain their original nationality after receiving their naturalisation papers. Nearly all the people in the Netherlands with more than one nationality have the Dutch and one (or more) non-Dutch nationalities. Only seven thousand people have two or three non-Dutch nationalities.

Inhabitants in the Netherlands with more than one nationality, 1 January

Mainly Dutch-Turkish and Dutch-Moroccan nationalities

People with Turkish or Moroccan nationality alongside the Dutch nationality account for nearly half of all people in the Netherlands with more than one nationality. They are followed at a distance by Dutch people who also have the German or British nationality.

Non-Dutch nationality of people with more than one nationality, 1 January 2002

Most people keep original nationality

Between 1 January 1992 and 1 October 1997, non-Dutch nationals were given the option to keep their original nationality. Most people indeed chose to do so: 82 percent in the period 1995-1997. On 1 October 1997 the principle of single nationality was re-introduced, but with a number of exceptions so that in the period 1998-2001 76 percent of naturalised Dutch people retained their original nationality.

Share of naturalised persons retaining original nationality, 1998-2001

Retention of nationality and country of origin

There are large differences in the numbers of people keeping their original nationality between the various countries of origin. Nearly all Turks and Moroccans kept their original nationality, although it should be mentioned in this respect that legislation in their own countries prevents Moroccans and Iranians, for example, from giving up the nationalities of these countries. People from Somalia and Surinam on the other hand mostly chose to give up their original nationalities.

Han Nicolaas