More than half of Polish immigrants do not settle in the Netherlands

21/12/2010 15:00

Last year, 13 thousand Poles came to the Netherlands versus 14 thousand in 2008. The majority of Polish immigrants leave the Netherlands after some time.

More Polish men than women come to the Netherlands

Immigration from Poland has increased considerably in recent years, especially after Poland joined the European Union (EU) in May 2004. At the beginning of the century, most Polish immigrants were women. After joining the EU, more Polish men than women came to the Netherlands.

Immigration from Poland by gender

Immigration from Poland by gender

Majority of Poles leave the Netherlands after several years

Nearly 60 percent of Poles who have come to the Netherlands since 2000 have now left the country. The proportion is marginally lower than among the Spanish and Italian immigrants who came to the Netherlands in the 1960s and 1970s, but significantly higher than among Turks and Moroccans who immigrated to the Netherlands in that period.

The fact that Poland is an EU member state is an important factor in this respect. Poles, as subjects of an EU member state, have free access to other EU member states and can return to the Netherlands whenever they please. This situation is very different from the situation of the Turks and Moroccans at the time.

Return migration from Poles (2000-2009) and Italians, Spaniards, Moroccans and Turks (1964-1973)

Return migration from Poles (2000-2009) and Italians, Spaniards, Moroccans and Turks (1964-1973)

Nine in ten Poles return to their country of birth

Approximately 90 percent of Poles leaving the Netherlands indeed return to their country of birth. Some 5 percent left for Germany and even smaller numbers went to Belgium and the United Kingdom. Large-scale migration of Poles who came to the Netherlands in the first decade of the twenty-first century to other EU member states has not occurred.

Differences with migrant workers in the past century

The majority of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants in the latter half of the 1960s were (single) men. In a later stage, when their wives and children came to the Netherlands, they were reunited with their families, resulting in an increase in women and children immigrants, but the proportion of women among Polish immigrants is in fact declining. This is an indication that large-scale family reunification of Polish immigrants is currently not taking place.

Proportion of women in Turkish and Moroccan (1964-1973) and Polish (2000-2009) immigrants

Proportion of women in Turkish and Moroccan (1964-1973) and Polish (2000-2009) immigrants

Han Nicolaas