Birth rate up for the first time since 2000

  • More births and marriages
  • Birth rate no longer declining
  • Sustained increase mortality rate
  • More immigrants

In the first nine months of this year, 140 thousand children were born, nearly 3 thousand more than in the same period last year. Over the entire year 2008, the downward trend in births observed for a number of years will be reversed. This is the first birth rate increase since 2000. According to the most recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands, the number of weddings also grew notably by nearly 3 thousand in the first three quarters of 2008 relative to the first three quarters of 2007.

Although the increase in births coincides with an increase in weddings, the number of unwed mothers also rose. In the first nine months of 2008, four in every ten children were born out of wedlock. The increase in the number of births in the first nine months of this year is predominantly caused by more families having a second or third child. The number of second children rose by 2.3 percent, the number of third children by 3.7 percent. The favourable economic climate that prevailed in 2006 and 2007 prompted people to start a family or have more children.

The marginal increase in mortality since the fourth quarter of 2007 continues in the third quarter of 2008. Mortality over the third quarter of 2008 was nearly 600 up on the same period last year.

In the third quarter of this year, 46 thousand people immigrated to the Netherlands, well over 7 thousand more than a year ago. In the first three quarters of 2008, immigrants outnumbered emigrants by more than 18 thousand. The first three quarters of 2007 showed a different picture.

The changes in birth, mortality and migration rates will cause the population to grow faster this year than last year.