The number of native Dutch emigrants aged 55 years and older has been increasing in recent years. In 2003 4.0 thousand older Dutch people left the Netherlands to live elsewhere. In 1995 this number was still only 2.4 thousand.
Emigration of Dutch over-55s
Germany, Belgium, France and Spain
The countries of destination were known for 3.4 thousand older emigrants in 2003. Most of them, nearly 2.4 thousand, moved to Belgium, Germany, France and Spain. These countries account for 70 percent of the total number of older emigrants. The number of older Dutch people moving to Germany and Belgium in particular has risen.
Emigration of Dutch over-55s by country of destination
Increase caused by ageing and change in behaviour
To a certain extent the increase in the number of older Dutch emigrants can be attributed to the ageing of the population: there were 13 percent more over-55s in 2003 than in 1995. However, the number of emigrants in this age group increased by 64 percent in the same period. There therefore seems to have been a considerable change in behaviour among older people as well. In 2003 1.1 person aged over 55 emigrated for every thousand persons in this age group. In the second half of the nineties this was 0.8 for every thousand.
Fewer people return
The number of people aged over 55 returning from abroad to the Netherlands also rose in the period 1995-2003, but the increases was smaller than that for emigration. In 2003 the number of returnees in this age group was smaller than in 2002. There is a growing net decrease of native Dutch over-55s because of emigration in this age group.