Nearly one million Muslims in the Netherlands

On 1 January 2004 an estimated 945 thousand Muslims were living in the Netherlands, compared with fewer than half a million in 1990. Two-thirds of the total number of Muslims in the Netherlands are Turks and Moroccans.

Muslims made up 5.8 percent of the total population on 1 January 2004. Their number will grow in the years to come and is anticipated to exceed 1 million in the course of 2006.

Muslims in the Netherlands, 1 January

Muslims in the Netherlands, 1 January

Half of non-western foreigners are Muslims

Over 95 percent of Muslims have a non-western background but not all foreigners are Muslims. Some 54 percent of all non-western foreigners living in the Netherlands are Muslims.

Turkey and Morocco

Muslims from Turkey constitute the largest group (328 thousand) followed by Moroccans (over 295 thousand).

Together they make up two-thirds of all Muslims in the Netherlands.

Muslims by country of origin, 1 January 2004

Muslims by country of origin, 1 January 2004

Second generation

Apart from immigration the number of Muslims is also growing on account of the children born in Muslim families. On 1 January 2004 some 38 percent of non-western Muslims belonged to the second generation. Their share has grown in the last six years because the number of second generation foreigners in the Netherlands is increasing.

Significant regional differences

There are significant differences in the number of Muslims in the various regions. The highest percentages are found in the COROP areas including the big cities. In Greater Amsterdam 13 percent of the population are Muslims, in The Hague 11.4 percent and in Groot-Rijnmond 10.2 percent, followed by the Zaanstreek with 9 and Utrecht with 7.2 percent. The percentages are lowest in the north-east of the country. In the provinces of Friesland and Drenthe less than 2 percent of the population are Muslims.

Share of Muslims per COROP area, 1 January 2004

Share of Muslims per COROP area, 1 January 2004

The distribution of Muslims over the various Dutch regions is closely linked to the number of non-western foreigners. In Greater Amsterdam one in four persons are non-western foreigners. In The Hague and Groot Rijnmond the rate is just over one in five. The lowest percentages of non-western foreigners are found in south-west Friesland and south-east Drenthe (3 percent).

Ron Tas