New emigrants

Nearly 36 thousand people born in the Netherlands moved to another country in 2002. This is the highest number of emigrants since 1960.

Emigration of people born in the Netherlands

Emigration of people born in the Netherlands

Favourite countries

Nearly three-quarters of emigrants in 2002 stayed in Europe. Half of them went to Belgium or Germany. Other popular destinations in Europe are Great Britain, France, Spain and Switzerland. Outside Europe Dutch people settle in the United States, the Netherlands Antilles, Canada and Australia.

Top twenty emigration destinations, 2002

Top twenty emigration destinations, 2002

Different destinations for young and old

Most emigrants leave the country while they are young. One quarter are younger than 18; mostly children who accompany their parents. One quarter are aged between 18 and 30 years, another quarter between 30 and 40. Around 14 percent of emigrants were 40-49, 13 percent were 50 years or older.

France, Spain and Portugal are popular destinations for older emigrants. Three out of ten emigrants who go to Portugal and a quarter of emigrants to Spain are over 50. Relatively more older people also leave for countries outside Europe, such as Indonesia (24 percent), South Africa (21 percent) and Thailand (20 percent).

Australia is favoured by people in their twenties: 35 percent of emigrants to Australia are aged between 18 and 30. Only 15 percent of people who leave for Canada are in their twenties.

Living across the border

There has been a relatively sharp increase in emigration to Germany in recent years: from just over three thousand in 1999 to nearly seven thousand in 2002. This is not an age-specific emigration pattern though. Half of the emigrants are 18-39, one quarter are younger than 18.

Part of this may be migration of parents with their children, i.e. families living across the border.

A similar pattern can be seen for emigration to Belgium: a further increase of people born in the Netherlands with no clear age selection.

Jan Latten and Han Nicolaas