On 1 January 2003 the number of Muslims living in the Netherlands totalled almost 920 thousand, 33 thousand more than one year previously and 294 thousand more than in 1995. Muslims constitute 5.7 percent of the total population in the Netherlands versus 4.1 percent in 1995.
Muslims in the Netherlands, 1 January
Considerable regional differences
Muslims are unevenly spread over the various regions. Most Muslims live in and around the big cities. In Greater Amsterdam 12.7 percent of the population are Muslims, in and around The Hague 11 percent, in the region Groot-Rijnmond (Rotterdam and surrounding area) 9.9 percent followed by the Zaanstreek with 8.8 percent and Utrecht with 7 percent.
Percentage of Muslims in the population per COROP area, 1 January 2003
The lowest percentage of Muslims is found in the north-east of the Netherlands: the south-west part of the province of Friesland has the lowest percentage of Muslims (1.5) followed by the north and south-east of the province of Drenthe with 1.6 and 1.7 percent respectively.
Percentage of non-western foreigners in the population per COROP area, 1 January 2003
Distribution of non-western foreigners
The distribution of Muslims over the various regions parallels the distribution of non-western foreigners. In Greater Amsterdam one in four residents has a non-western background, in the conurbation The Hague and the region Groot-Rijnmond more than one in five. The lowest percentage of non-western foreigners is found in the south-east and south-west of Drenthe (3 percent).
Percentage of Muslims among non-western foreigners per COROP area, 1 January 2003
Not all non-western foreigners are Muslims
However, not all non-western foreigners are Muslims. Almost three-quarters of the non-western foreigners living in the south-east of the province of Gelderland are Muslims, immediately followed by the north part of the province of Limburg with 73 percent. In the areas surrounding the big cities 50 percent of the non-western foreigners are Muslims. In the COROP areas ‘Other Groningen’ and ‘North part of the province of Noord-Holland’ only 37 and 38 percent respectively of the non-western foreigners are Muslims.