Immigrants come and go

11/10/2004 10:00

In 2003 some 74 thousand immigrants with a non-Dutch nationality entered the Netherlands, 13 thousand less than in 2002. Some immigrants remain in the Netherlands, others leave after a while. About 40 percent of all immigrants from 1997 have left the Netherlands again.

Migration motives of non-Dutch immigrants, 2003

Migration motives of non-Dutch immigrants, 2003

Family formation

The largest group of immigrants who entered the Netherlands in 2002 and 2003 came for family formation purposes.

Three out of ten immigrants come to the Netherlands for family formation. The second largest group of immigrants came to the Netherlands to work. Their number is dwindling. However the number of asylum-seeking migrants fell even more. In 2003 some 9.3 thousand asylum-seeking immigrants came to the Netherlands, only one third of the number who came in 2000.

The number of people coming for family reunification has been slowing down since 1996.

Non-Dutch immigrants by migration motive

Non-Dutch immigrants by migration motive

Three quarters of all labour migrants leave within six years

Not all immigrants seek to stay in the Netherlands permanently. The extent to which non-Dutch immigrants leave the Netherlands again is closely related to their original motive to immigrate.

Almost three quarters of all labour migrants from 1997 had left within six years. Au pairs, trainees and students leave even faster. Almost all au pairs and trainees have left within six years. A relatively small number of asylum-seeking migrants and people who came for family reunification or family formation are leaving. Moreover a striking number of accompanying family members of migrants is currently returning to their country of origin. Many of them originally accompanied a labour migrant to the Netherlands.

Immigrants from 1997 who left within six years

Immigrants from 1997 who left within six years

Han Nicolaas and Arno Sprangers