Some 700 thousand people in the Netherlands say they have plans to live abroad for a period of at least eight months. Nine percent of men aged 18 to 62 years say they intend to leave the Netherlands. For women this is 5 percent. People with a foreign background and young people in particular state these intentions.
More people with a foreign background want to leave
Relatively more people with a foreign background than native Dutch people have plans to emigrate. Eighteen percent of men born in the Netherlands with one or both parents born outside the Netherlands want to move abroad temporarily or permanently. For native Dutch men this is 7 percent. The percentage of women with plans to leave the Netherlands is significantly lower, but is twice as high among women with a foreign background than among native Dutch women.
People with plans to emigrate, by ethnic origin, 2008
Young people in particular plan to move abroad
More young people than older people say they want to leave the country. Fourteen percent of men aged 18 to 29 years said they plan to emigrate, compared with 7 percent of people aged 30 and older. For women aged 18 to 29 years this is 10 percent, and only 4 percent for the over-30s.
People with plans to emigrate, by age, 2008
Young people often spend a period abroad
Just over one in three people with plans to emigrate are certain they will return to the Netherlands. One in five say they might come back. Young people in particular plan to live abroad temporarily. Three-quarters of 18-29 year-olds said they would definitely or perhaps return to the Netherlands. Young people often leave the Netherlands for a period to study or work, favouring destinations like Australia and the United States.
Netherlands too full for the over-30s
One third of over-30s with plans to emigrate expect to leave the country definitely. They say they want to move away to have more space, peace and quiet, and to get back to nature. They often plan to move to countries like Belgium, France, Spain and Surinam.
Main reason for emigration, by sex, 2008
The number of emigrants has increased gradually since the start of the millennium. In the period 2006-2008, 125 thousand people a year left the Netherlands. This is the highest number since the 1950s.
Arie de Graaf