Growing immigration from new EU member states

09/11/2007 15:00

According to the latest figures published by Statistics Netherlands, immigration has risen further in the third quarter. This is mainly attributable to an increase in immigrants from the new EU member states. At the same time, immigration from Turkey and Morocco declined. In the first nine months of this year, 87 thousand immigrants settled in the Netherlands, i.e. an increase by 10 thousand relative to the same period in 2006.

More Romanians and Bulgarians

In the first nine months of 2007, nearly 6 thousand immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania came to the Netherlands, as opposed to only 1 thousand in the same period last year. The increase is mainly due to Bulgaria’s and Romania’s recent accession to the EU on 1 January 2007. Poland’s accession on 1 January 2004 also prompted an increase in immigration. Immigrants are people who intend to settle in the Netherlands for a longer period of time and have been entered into the municipal population registers.

The number of immigrants from Poland also continues to  rise. In the first nine months their number totalled 7 thousand, 1 thousand more than one year previously. The fact that, since 1 May 2007, Polish workers no longer need a work permit might contribute to the increase in Polish immigrants.

Immigration from Turkey and Morocco, on the other hand declined by 1 thousand in the first three quarters of this year relative to the same period last year. Since 2003, immigration from these two countries has dropped by more than 60 percent.

Emigration down

Emigration is declining for the first time since 1999. In the period January–September of this year, 92 thousand persons emigrated, 8 thousand fewer than in the same period last year. In recent years, emigration grew rapidly from 80 thousand annually around the turn of the century to more than 130 thousand in 2006.

Population growth faster

In the first three quarters of 2007, the population grew by 34 thousand, as against 15 thousand in the same period last year. The increase is almost entirely due to an increase in immigration and a simultaneous decrease in emigration. Declining mortality also played a part in this respect. The current Dutch population figure stands at 16.4 million.

Fewer births and deaths

In the first three quarters of this year, 98 thousand people died in the Netherlands, nearly 5 thousand fewer than in the same period last year, so the downward trend witnessed in recent years continues. This is all the more remarkable, because the population is ageing.

In the period January–September, 136 thousand babies were born, 3 thousand fewer than in the same period last year. This is a consequence of the fact that the female population around the age of thirty – the age most women give birth – is declining.