For years many immigrants moved into the four major cities and many people left town to go and live elsewhere in the Netherlands. This has recently changed.
More emigrants, more new influx
Since 2000 there has been a slow decline in the number of people who move from other countries into the four major Dutch towns. Since 2005, many more people have left the major cities to go and live abroad. Ever since 2005 there has been an emigration surplus, which means the number of emigrants exceeds the number of immigrants.
The number of people who move from the big cities to municipalities elsewhere in the Netherlands has remained fairly constant.
The number of moves from other Dutch municipalities to the major cities shows an upward trend due to the creation of new suburbs like Leidsche Rijn in Utrecht and Leidschenveen in The Hague. Therefore 2006 saw the first positive balance in domestic migration to the major cities for the first time in years.
Balance of migration in the four major cities
This trend is clearly shown by the figures on Amsterdam. The number of people moving from other Dutch municipalities into Amsterdam has seen a 12 percent increase since 2001, reaching over 29 thousand in 2006. On the other hand, the number of people who moved out of Amsterdam to go and live elsewhere in the Netherlands, stayed at a constant level of about 30 thousand a year.
Furthermore emigration from Amsterdam to another country has been rising fast in the last two years, whereas immigration fell slightly.
Migration from home and abroad, Amsterdam
People in their twenties moving in, people in their thirties moving out
The major cities mainly draw people in their twenties, who move there for education or work. In 2006 15.6 thousand people in their twenties moved from other municipalities to Amsterdam, over half of the total domestic influx that year. Twice as many people in their twenties moved into Amsterdam than moved out.
The largest surplus in emigration is among people in their thirties who are mostly leaving the city once they have children. This also explains the emigration surplus in the age group up to 20.
Domestic migration Amsterdam, 2006
Elma van Agtmaal-Wobma and Carel Harmsen