Belgium and Germany most popular destinations for emigrants

30/03/2010 15:00

Last year, 28 thousand native Dutch left the Netherlands to settle elsewhere, i.e. 9 thousand fewer than in record year 2006. The most popular destinations were Belgium and Germany. The rate of over-50s was relatively high among emigrants to France, Portugal and Spain.

Emigration in 2009 dramatically down

In 2009, the number of native Dutch emigrants fell by nearly 7 thousand relative to 2008. Emigration of people with a native Dutch background declined for the third year running. In times of economic insecurity, potential emigrants prefer stay in the Netherlands or they are forced to postpone their departure, because the poor situation on the housing market makes it difficult for them to sell their houses at short notice.

Native Dutch emigrants

Native Dutch emigrants

Belgium and Germany remain popular

Although emigration to Belgium and Germany declined by a quarter in 2009, these two countries are still the most popular destinations for native Dutch emigrants. About 4.5 thousand native Dutch settled in each of these countries last year. After Belgium and Germany, the Netherlands Antilles, Aruba and Spain are the most popular destinations.

Top 10 destinations of native Dutch emigrants, 2009

Top 10 destinations of native Dutch emigrants, 2009

Countries in Southern Europe predominantly attract people older than 50

In 2009, one in five native Dutch emigrants was 50 years of age or older. More than 5 thousand older emigrants settled in countries in Southern Europe like France and Spain. The rate of over-50s was also high among emigrants to Portugal and Thailand, but the numbers concerned were much smaller.

Proportion of over-50s among native Dutch emigrants, 2009

Proportion of over-50s among native Dutch emigrants, 2009

Suzanne Loozen and Han Nicolaas