Record number of immigrants in 2010

09/02/2011 15:00
  • Immigration soars to record high of 150 thousand
  • Emigration rises faster than immigration
  • Number of house moves further down

On 1 January 2011, the population of the Netherlands stood at 16.7 million, i.e. 80 thousand more than one year previously. In 2010, the previous immigration record of 2009 was marginally exceeded, but emigration increased faster. As a result, net migration was more than 2 thousand below the level of 2009. The number of births dropped somewhat, mortality increased. Because natural growth and net migration were lower than in 2009, the population growth in 2010 was less substantial than in the preceding year. According to the most recent population figures released by Statistics Netherlands, the population across all Dutch provinces increased or remained stable.

2009 immigration record marginally exceeded

With 150 thousand (3 thousand more than in 2009), immigration reached a record level in 2010. The emigration increase, which started in 2006, has continued and is predominantly caused by immigrants from new as well as long-standing European Union (EU) member states.
After three years of decline, emigration has also risen in 2010, although the growth rate was lower than for immigration; 118 thousand persons emigrated, 6 thousand more than in 2009. The increase was mainly observed among people born in the Netherlands or in other EU countries. Emigration rose more rapidly than immigration in 2010. As a result, net migration (32 thousand) was just below the level of 2009.

Fewer births, more deaths

Last year, 184 thousand babies were born and 136 thousand people died. Natural population growth (births minus deaths) was 48 thousand. The number of births dropped marginally and mortality was somewhat higher in 2010 relative to the preceding year.
The fact that there were fewer people in their twenties and thirties accounted for the decline in births. The fertility rate has not changed. Although the risk of dying has been reduced, mortality was higher due to demographic ageing.

Limburg only province with negative population growth

The population increase in the Netherlands was 80 thousand in 2010. The net population in most provinces increased or remained stable. Limburg was the only province to show a very small population decline. In this province, natural growth and net migration to other Dutch municipalities were negative. The decline remained very modest as immigrants outnumbered emigrants. The population in the province of Zeeland also remained stable due to foreign net migration. 

Fewer people move house

Nearly 1.5 million persons moved house in 2010, a decrease by 33 thousand from 2009. After a considerable decline in 2009, the number of people who moved house dropped further in 2010. In all quarters of 2010, fewer people moved than in the same quarter of 2009.
In most provinces, residents moving to another province outnumbered new residents arriving from other provinces. On balance, the population in the provinces of North Holland, and – to a lesser degree – South Holland and Gelderland, expanded due to people moving from one province to another within the Netherlands.