The greying of the population will reach its peak in just over 30 years. Between now and 2038, the number of people over 65 will increase from 2.4 to 4.3 million. A quarter of the 17 million Dutch people will then over 65. The number of older people will increase especially fast because of the post-war baby boom. This is shown by the latest population forecast by Statistics Netherlands.
Life expectancy increasing more
Life expectancy is increasing more than previously expected. In 2038 the expected maximum number of people over 65 is 200 thousand more than expected in the previous population forecast.
Life expectancy for men is expected to rise from 77.6 in 2006 to 81.5 in 2050, and life expectancy for women from 81.7 to 84.2. More people are expected to reach retirement age, and retired people are expected to live longer.
Grey pressure doubling
Grey pressure, that is the ratio between people over 65 and the potential labour force (people aged between 20 and 65), is increasing faster than the share of people over 65. This is because the number of people over 65 increases, while the potential labour force decreases by 1 million. The grey pressure will rise from the current 23 percent to 47 percent in 2038.
Population expected to decline after 2035
The Dutch population increased by only 20 thousand people in 2006. This is a historic low, mainly caused by growing emigration. The population is expected to increase modestly until 2034 with tens of thousands a year. After 2034, the growing number of deaths will cause the population numbers to decline slightly.
Native Dutch population declining after 2006
In 2007 the native Dutch population is expected to be down by a few thousand on 2006. This is mainly because of an emigration surplus of 25 thousand people a year.
In the next decade the native population is expected to decline by about 5 thousand people a year. Na 2020 this decline will gather speed. By 2050 there will be an estimated 12.0 million native Dutch people in the Netherlands, compared to 13.2 million right now. Their share will decrease from 81 to 71 percent during this period.
Share of people with a foreign background increases
In the Netherlands, the population with a foreign background will continue to grow in the next few decades. Among people with a non-western background three quarters of the growth rate is due to births. For people with a western foreign background growth is due to immigration. The share of non-western people in the Dutch population will grow from 11 percent in 2006 to 16 percent in 2050, while the share of western people with a foreign background is expected to increase from 9 to percent.