Immigration increased over the past quarter, in particular immigrants from the new EU member states Bulgaria and Romania came to the Netherlands. At the same time, emigration declined. As a result, the population growth rose to 6 thousand in the first quarter, according to the most recent figures published by Statistics Netherlands.
Immigration mounts further
Nearly 26 thousand immigrants came to settle in the Netherlands in the past quarter, as against 23 thousand in the same period last year. The increase in immigrants carries on and now equals the amount of early 2003. It mainly concerns people who intend to stay in the Netherlands for a longer period of time and have reported their presence to the municipal authorities.
Many Europeans come to the Netherlands
The immigration increase mainly concerns Europeans and Dutch citizens returning home. In the past quarter 2.3 thousand immigrants from the new EU member states Bulgaria and Romania came to the Netherlands, nearly 2 thousand more than in the same period last year. The number of Polish immigrants increased marginally to over 2 thousand. The number of Dutch citizens returning to the Netherlands rose to nearly 6 thousand.
Most strikingly, fewer immigrants from Turkey and Morocco came to settle in the Netherlands.
The emigration rate declined for the first time after having risen for a fairly long period. In the past quarter 29 thousand people left the Netherlands, as opposed to 32 thousand in the first quarter of 2006. The decrease mainly consists of immigrants returning home. The number of emigrants born in the United Kingdom, Somalia, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, Morocco and Turkey dropped. With 14 thousand, the number of emigrants born in the Netherlands remained virtually equal.
Fewer births, lower mortality
The number of births has declined for some time now. In the past quarter 44 thousand babies were born, one thousand fewer than last year and the lowest number in more than two decades. Mortality also dropped by one thousand to 35 thousand. Natural population growth, defined as births minus deaths, remained stable at 9 thousand.
Increase population growth
Simultaneous immigration increase and emigration decrease caused the population growth to rise to 6 thousand over the past quarter. In the first quarter of 2006, the population growth was practically zero. The current growth is higher than in the first quarters of 2004 and 2005, but not exceptional. In the first quarter of 2003, the number of inhabitants still increased by nearly 14 thousand.
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