Ageging will hit the Netherlands sharply after 2010

On 1 January 2003 the population of the Netherlands numbered 16.2 million. According to Statistics Netherlands population forecast this will increase to 17.7 million around 2040.

After this peak the population will start to decrease, though only slowly. From 2060 onwards the population will increase again to almost 18 million.

Population of the Netherlands on 1 January

Ageing will quicken after 2010

Not only is the population of the Netherlands growing in number, it is also growing older. At the moment the grey pressure is 22 percent. This means that for every hundred potential workers there are 22 people over the age of 65. Fifty years ago this rate was only 14 percent. Shortly after 2010 the number of older people will increase more quickly. From that year the first post-war baby-boom generation will reach the age of 65.

Grey pressure

Ageing peak around 2040

The ageing process will peak around 2040, when the grey pressure will have reached 43 percent, nearly double what it is today. After 2040 grey pressure will ease as the post-war generation will have died. The decrease will not be very large though. In the second half of the century grey pressure will be just over 40 percent, almost twice as high as today‚Äôs rate. The ageing process is therefore a structural one.

Green pressure

Green pressure stable

In addition to old people, the youngest inhabitants of the Netherlands also constitute a burden on the labour force. In the last ten years the number of people aged under twenty has fluctuated around 40 percent of the population aged 20-64 years. This green pressure will remain at about this level in the coming decades.

Maarten Alders