On 1 January 2008, the Dutch population totalled 16.4 millon. The population growth over 2007 was 46 thousand, about twice the growth over 2006, which was historically low. In 2007, births outnumbered deaths by 48 thousand. The higher population growth in 2007 relative to 2006 is mainly caused by an increase in immigration and a simultaneous decrease in emigration, as the most recent figures published by Statistics Netherlands show.
More births than deaths
In 2007, nearly 181 thousand babies were born in the Netherlands, well over 4 thousand fewer than in 2006. The decline in the number of births tallies with the decline in the number of women around the age of thirty. With 133 thousand, mortality was also down on the previous year, despite the ongoing ageing of the population. The natural increase over 2007 was considerable (48 thousand). Natural increase is a more important factor for population growth than migration.
Immigration from Turkey and Morocco dwindling
Immigration to the Netherlands increased by 15 percent in 2007 to nearly 117 thousand. More than one in five immigrants were born in the Netherlands. Over 10 thousand immigrants from Poland, nearly 7 thousand Germans and nearly 5 thousand Bulgarians came to the Netherlands. Immigration form Poland increased by more than one fifth, the number of immigrants from Bulgaria increased almost tenfold. Immigration form people born in Morocco (nearly 2 thousand) and Turkey (nearly 3 thousand), on the other hand, dwindled.
Half of emigrants born in the Netherlands
In 2007, emigration decreased marginally, but the number of emigrants (123 thousand) still easily exceeded emigration in the first few years of the twenty-first century. Nearly half of emigrants were native Dutch, followed at a distance by nearly 5 thousand Germans and more than 3 thousand Poles. The number of people born in Poland who left the Netherlands was slightly higher last year than in 2006. Emigration is declining across almost all other ethnic groups. This applies in particular to Turks and Moroccans.
Polish and Bulgarian immigrants fastest growing group
With nearly 7 thousand, the largest positive net migration figure was recorded for Poles in 2007. Net migration was also positive for Bulgarians (4 thousand) and Romanians (nearly 2 thousand). Both countries joined the European Union on 1 January 2007. There was also a relatively sharp increase in the number of immigrants from China (nearly 2 thousand) and the former Soviet Union (over 1 thousand).