Immigration picking up

  • More immigrants from EU countries
  • Many Poles in horticultural regions

According to the latest quarterly figures from Statistics Netherlands, nearly 32 thousand people immigrated to the Netherlands in the first quarter of 2008, nearly 6 thousand more than twelve months previously. People born in one of the countries of the European Union accounted for more than half of the increase.

Immigration into the Netherlands showed an across-the-board increase, but the arrival of people from  EU countries in particular has risen substantially. This is presumably related to the shortage on the Dutch labour market.

In terms of absolute numbers, the number of Poles who have settled in the Netherlands has risen by most. In the first quarter of 2008, nearly 3.5 thousand poles arrived in the Netherlands, bringing the number of first generation Poles here to an estimated 45 thousand on 1 April 2008. The number of Poles in the Netherlands has doubled since Poland became a member of the EU in May 2004.

Until 2005 many more Polish women than men came to the Netherlands. After that 2005, the share of men in immigration increased strongly. This is connected with the increasing numbers of male labour migrants from Poland.

Polish immigrants arriving from 2007 onwards live mainly in municipalities in Brabant, and in the horticultural regions of the Netherlands: Westland, the bulb-growing areas near Hillegom and Lisse, and in the vicinity of Aalsmeer and Enkhuizen.