Nearly as many Muslims as Calvinists in the Netherlands

Nearly 5 percent of the population of the Netherlands aged eighteen and over are Muslims. This makes Islam the fourth largest religion in the Netherlands, if non-churchgoers and atheists are not taken into account.

Population by religion, 1 January 2003

Statistics Netherlands studies have shown that 31 percent of people aged eighteen and older are Roman Catholics, 14 percent are Protestant and 7 percent belong to the Dutch Calvinist church.

920 thousand Muslims in the Netherlands

On 1 January 2003 there were nearly 920 thousand Muslims in the Netherlands, 20 thousand more than the year before and 294 thousand more than in 1995. They now account for 5.7 percent of the total population of the Netherlands, compared with 4.1 percent in 1995.

Muslims in the Netherlands, 1 January

The number of Muslims has increased strongly with the growth of the non-western foreign population in the Netherlands. More than 95 percent of Muslims are of non-western descent. This does not mean, however, that a large majority of non-western foreigners are Muslims. Only about 54 percent of non-western foreigners in the Netherlands are Muslims.

Most Muslims originally come from Turkey (nearly 320 thousand) and Morocco (285 thousand). Together they account for two-thirds of the total Muslim population of the Netherlands.

Muslims by country of origin, 1 January 2003

The number of Muslims is not only growing as a consequence of immigration, but also because Muslims living in the Netherlands have children. On 1 January 2003, 38 percent of non-western Muslims living in the Netherlands belonged to the second generation.

Ron Tas