The population in Dutch cities has grown notably in recent years. The population growth rate is particularly high in the three major cities in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam shows highest growth rate
The growth rate in the three major Dutch cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, was about three times as high between 1 January 2009 and 1 January 2011 as the 1.0 percent for the Netherlands as a whole. The Amsterdam population increased by nearly 25 thousand over this period. Early in the past decade, the Amsterdam population increased by fewer than one thousand annually.
The populations of The Hague and Rotterdam grew by 13 and 23 thousand respectively between 1 January 2009 and 1 January 2011. The population growth in Rotterdam was extra high in 2010 due to the incorporation of the former municipality of Rozenburg.
Accelerated population growth due to domestic and foreign inflow
The population growth in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague can be attributed to a higher net immigration. Net foreign migration has been positive in Amsterdam and The Hague since 2007 and in Rotterdam since 2008. The relatively high national immigration in 2009 and 2010 will have played a part in this respect.
Additionally, more people from other municipalities have settled in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague and fewer people have left. Recently built new housing estates like Leidschenveen in The Hague, IJburg in Amsterdam and in and around the centre of Rotterdam have contributed to the population growth in these cities. Natural population growth has also been higher, but is a less important factor.
Population growth Rotterdam, The Hague and Amsterdam
Population growth in nearly all cities
In the other large cities in the Netherlands (the 31 large municipalities minus the three major cities), the population growth rate also increased. The growth rate continually exceeded the nationwide population growth rate during the past decade.
Growth rate major cities versus the rest of the country
In 2009 and 2010, the population declined in only 4 out of the 31 large cities, albeit to a limited extent. In Emmen, Heerlen, Hengelo (province of Overijssel) and Sittard-Geleen, the population growth was negative; in the other 27 municipalities, overall population growth was 124 thousand, more than 70 percent of the national population growth in the Netherlands.
Jan Latten (CBS, UvA), Femke Migchelbrink (UvA)