Cross-border commuting

17/12/2009 15:00

Early this year, 90 thousand employees living in Belgium or Germany were working in the Netherlands. The number of cross-border commuters has increased considerably over the past decade. Approximately half of commuters are Dutch. Many of them have lived in the Netherlands in the past.

Increase since 2000

In March of this year, 45 thousand Belgian and 45 thousand German residents were working in the Netherlands. The number of cross-border commuters from Belgium and Germany in particular has increased over the past decade. In September 2008, the 100 thousand barrier was broken, but subsequently numbers declined, chiefly from Germany. The number of cross-border commuters working in Belgium and Germany is not so high. An estimated 20 thousand people living in the Netherlands are working in Belgium and Germany.

Belgian or German residents working in the Netherlands

Belgian or German residents working in the Netherlands

Nearly half have Dutch nationality

Nearly half of cross-border commuters from Belgium and Germany have the Dutch nationality. Nearly 60 percent of cross-border commuters from Belgium and about 35 percent of commuters from Germany are Dutch. Most non-Dutch employees have the nationality of the country they live in (Belgium or Germany). An additional, much smaller group consists of people with a different nationality.

A large part of cross-border commuters, in particular the Dutch among them, have lived in the Netherlands in the past. Three in four Dutch cross-border commuters have left the Netherlands after 1994, as against 8 percent of non-Dutch commuters.

Cross-border commuters by nationality and country of residence, September 2008

Cross-border commuters by nationality and country of residence, September 2008

German temps

A considerable part of current cross-border commuters from Germany consists of temporary workers with a foreign – in most cases German – nationality. In September 2008, more than 20 thousand commuters from Germany were employed by temp agencies. More than half of non-Dutch commuters living in Germany were working for temp agencies. One in eight Dutch commuters living in Germany are working in temp jobs. There are few temp workers among cross-border commuters living in Belgium.

Share of temps among cross-border commuters by country of residence and nationality, September 2008

Share of temps among cross-border commuters by country of residence and nationality, September 2008

André Corpeleijn