For the first time since 1982, last year there were more emigrants from than immigrants to the Netherlands.
More emigrants than immigrants
In 2003 104.5 thousand immigrants arrived in the Netherlands, while 104.8 thousand emigrants left to live in another country. This resulted in a negative net migration of 300 persons. In 2002 net migration was still +24 thousand.
After 1995, net migration was highest in 2000 with 54 thousand persons. Since then, net migration has dropped steadily as immigration fell substantially and emigration increased.
Immigration and emigration
More western emigrants than immigrants
In 2003 nearly 56 thousand immigrants from western countries arrived in the Netherlands. The number of emigrants with a western background was significantly higher at 75 thousand. Compared with 2002, immigration fell sharply, while emigration increased.
Net migration of westerners was minus 20 thousand in 2003. In 2001 it was still positive.
Net migration by country of birth
Fewer non-western immigrants
The number of immigrants from non-western countries was 49 thousand. The number of emigrants was lower at 30 thousand. For this group too, immigration was much lower than in 2002, while more people left the country.
The migration surplus of people born in non-western countries was thus much lower: it fell from 35 thousand in 2002 to 19 thousand in 2003.
The large numbers of immigrants from the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba have been decreasing since 2000, while the number of emigrants to these countries has risen in the same period. In 2003 net migration for this region was slightly negative.
Migration of persons born in the Netherlands Antilles or Aruba