Population growth slowing down

12/08/2010 15:00
  • Smaller decrease in internal migration
  • Net immigration still high
  • Increase in emigration

Population growth

Figures released today by Statistics Netherlands show that the population of the Netherlands increased by 83 thousand persons from mid 2009 to mid 2010. The growth rate was lower in the first half of 2010 than in the same period last year. The increase was 6 thousand smaller than in the first half of 2009, a result of higher emigration than immigration. The annual number of births still exceeds the number of deaths by around 50 thousand. On 1 July 2010, the population of the Netherlands numbered 16.6 million persons.

Internal migration

The number of people moving house within the Netherlands was 1.5 percent lower in the second quarter of 2010 than in the same quarter last year. The decrease was almost the same in the first quarter of 2010. This signifies a substantial slowing down in the decrease in internal migration that set in at the end of 2008. The level is still well below the level of before the economic crisis, however. The rate of decrease was highest in the second quarter of 2009.

The number of people in families moving house in particular fell by less than in the same period last year.


Net immigration is still high, in spite of the economic crisis. Immigration was 1.2 thousand lower in the first half of 2010 than twelve months earlier; a fall of 2 percent. Fewer immigrants arrived from Iraq and Somalia, in particular. Immigration of people born in the Netherlands and other EU countries was also lower.

Emigration increased by 4.2 thousand in the first six months of 2010, a rise of more than 8 percent. This may partly be the effect of the cleaning up of municipal registers in connection with the general election. During this process people have who left the Netherlands without informing the authorities are removed from the registers.