In the first six months of 2007, the number of people living in the Netherlands grew by nearly 15 thousand. The increase is substantially larger than in the first six months of 2006. The population growth is chiefly due to a decrease in emigration and a simultaneous increase in immigration. According to the latest figures published by Statistics Netherlands, the most substantial population growth was recorded in the provinces of North Holland and Utrecht.
Population growth 15 thousand in first six months
Decreasing emigration and increasing immigration contribute to the higher population growth. A third factor is declining mortality. On the other hand, the lower birth rate restrained population growth. In the first half of 2006, the population grew by less than 3 thousand.
Emigration down, immigration up
In the first six months of this year, 55 thousand residents emigrated, 7 thousand fewer than in the same period last year. This decline is also a reaction to the decrease in immigration in the early years of this millennium, because part of the immigrants tend to leave after a couple of years.
Immigration increased from 44 thousand in the first half of 2006 to 50 thousand in the same period this year. Net emigration (emigration minus immigration) fell from nearly 19 thousand in the first half of 2006 to under 6 thousand in the first half of 2007. The current economic revival also plays a part in this respect.
Population growth speeds up
The population growth in 2006 was the lowest since 1900. The more substantial growth in the first half of 2007 is assumed to mark the end of a period of declining population growth since 2000. The decrease in emigration and especially the increase in immigration are believed to continue in the years to come.
Population growth predominantly in North Holland and Utrecht
There are considerable discrepancies between the various regions. The highest growth rates are recorded in North Holland and Utrecht. These two provinces account for two thirds of total population growth in the Netherlands. Groningen and Limburg are the only provinces where the population was declining in the first half of this year. The population growth obviously picked up in the province of South Holland (+ 1 thousand). In the first six months of 2006, the number of residents in this province dropped by 3 thousand. In Rotterdam, the population is still shrinking. In the first half of 2006, the population dropped by over 4 thousand, against more than 2 thousand in the same period this year.
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