People who stay behind in regions where the population is diminishing are less well-off

23/12/2011 15:00

In regions where the population has shrunk over the period 2005-2008, people’s socio-economic conditions have worsened.

People in regions without population inflow have lower incomes

On average, the incomes of people living in regions, which attracted no or just a few new residents in recent years were already far below average in 2005 compared to the incomes of people living in regions with growing populations. People in regions where the population inflow was higher than the outflow, already had the highest incomes and their incomes increased further. Proportionally, the personal incomes of residents in the other regions declined.

Average personal incomes by type of region

Average personal incomes by type of region

Sharp increase disability benefits in regions without immigration

The absolute number of disabled was reduced across all regions in the period 2005-2008, but the proportion of disability benefit recipients grew relatively fast in regions with shrinking populations. In regions where many people settled, the percentage of disability benefits in fact declined.

Disability benefit recipients by type of region

Disability benefit recipients by type of region

Most employed live in regions with high population inflow

In regions with the fewest new residents in recent years, the percentage of employed persons was relatively lowest over the period 2005-2008, although some improvement could be observed. In regions where people who left outnumbered immigrants, the number of employed persons in fact declined.

The situation is favourable in regions which attract many new residents: the number of employed persons – already high – increased further.

Employed persons by type of region

Employed persons by type of region

Population shrinking in unattractive regions

In the near future, the population in urban regions will continue to grow. In the four major Dutch cities and the greater Amsterdam region, the population is projected to grow by nearly 300 thousand and more than 150 thousand respectively over the period 2012-2030, as more new residents from other regions and from abroad will settle in these areas. This will also have a positive effect on the ageing process in regions growing populations.

Regions with a higher outflow than inflow will see their populations shrink, e.g. Oost-Groningen, where the population is expected to decline by approximately 8 thousand over the period 2012-2030.

Jan Latten and Andrea Annema