The population group in the Netherlands with a non-western foreign background will age strongly in the next few decades. According to Statistics Netherlands’ latest forecast of the foreign population in the Netherlands, the number of over-65s with a non-western foreign background will increase from just under 70 thousand today to more than 520 thousand in 2050.
Over-65s with a non-western foreign background
Foreign population ageing quickly
The native Dutch population is already much older than the population with a foreign background. Today only one in 27 people with a non-western foreign background in the Netherlands are 65 or older. For native Dutch people this is one in six. The ageing process of the native Dutch population will peak around 2040: 29 percent will then be aged 65 years or older.
The non-western foreign population will continue to age beyond 2040. In 2050, an estimated near 18 percent of people with a non-western foreign background will be 65 or older; this will make them just as ‘old’ as the native Dutch population in 2009.
Share of native Dutch and non-western foreigners aged 65 years or older
Surinamese will age by most
The three largest groups with a non-western foreign background, those from Turkey, Morocco and Suriname, are growing more slowly than in the past, and are ageing strongly. In 2050, 30 percent of Surinamese people in the Netherlands will be 65 years or older, making it even older than the native Dutch population; 24 percent of Turks and 22 percent of Moroccans in the Netherlands will be over 65 in 2050.
Over-65s by ethnic origin
Second generation will also age
Nearly all older people with a non-western foreign background in the Netherlands today are first generation immigrants. In 2050, one fifth of over-65s with a non-western foreign background will have been born in the Netherlands and thus be part of the second generation. The third generation, children of the second generation, are counted as native Dutch people.
Joop Garssen and Coen van Duin