The Dutch population is estimated to grow by 86 thousand in 2009. The increase exceeds last year’s population growth by 5.5 thousand. A period of rapid growth appears to have come to an end. Next year, Statistics Netherlands anticipates a population growth of 60 thousand; subsequently the growth rate will slow down.
Observation/estimate population growth and forecast for the period 2010-2015
Fewer Dutch emigrants
This year, 112 thousand people emigrated, i.e. 6 thousand fewer than in 2008. The number of native Dutch emigrants dropped by approximately 10 thousand. At the same time, the number of first generation people with a foreign background leaving the Netherlands increased. They are mainly persons born in other EU member countries. In this category, more people emigrate, because immigration from other EU countries has risen in recent years. These former immigrants currently emigrate to their countries of birth. In the near future, about 116 thousand emigrants are expected to leave the Netherlands annually.
Immigration will come to a halt
About 146 thousand immigrants settled in the Netherlands in 2009, an increase by 2 thousand relative to 2008. The inflow of immigrants from other EU member states declined by 5 thousand. This process is assumed to continue as the demand for labour reduces. As fewer native Dutch emigrate, the number who will return to the Netherlands will also decline. In the years to come, about 125 thousand immigrants are to return to the Netherlands annually.
Net migration was approximately 34 thousand in 2009. In the near future, annual net migration will reduce to about 8 thousand.
Observation/estimate immigration and emigration and forecast 2010-2015
More deaths, fewer births
In 2009, some 135 thousand people died in the Netherlands, about as many as in 2008. In 2015, annual mortality is anticipated to increase to 147 thousand as a result of the ageing population.
Approximately 183 thousand people were born in the Netherlands in 2009, as against 185 thousand in 2008. Fewer couples decide to have a baby in times of economic hardship. The number of women in their late twenties and early thirties – the age most Dutch women give birth for the first time – is also declining. In the coming years, about 177 thousand babies are estimated to be born annually in the Netherlands.
In 2009, net natural population growth (births minus deaths) was nearly 50 thousand and is expected to fall back to over 30 thousand in 2015.
Observation/estimate births and deaths and forecast 2010-2015
Coen van Duin and Han Nicolaas