On 1 January 2012, the Netherlands had a population in excess of 16.7 million. On balance, the population growth in 2011 was 72 thousand, i.e. 9 thousand fewer than in 2010. In 2011, there were more immigrants and emigrants than in 2010, but fewer births.
160 thousand immigrants
With 160 thousand people, immigration hit a new record high in 2011. The increase relative to 2010 is 6 thousand. Immigration started to grow in 2006 and continues to date. The growth mainly comes from new as well as long-standing member states of the European Union.
Emigration also increased; 133 thousand people settled abroad, 12 thousand more than in 2010. After a sharp decline since 2007, emigration has grown again over the past two years.
The contribution of migration to population growth was less substantial in 2011 than in 2010. With 27 thousand, net migration was 6 thousand below the level in 2010.
Immigration and emigration
Fewer babies born
Last year, 180 thousand babies were born and 135 thousand people died. Births minus deaths accounts for more than 60 percent of the population growth.
The number of births in 2011 was lower than in 2010. The decline by 4 thousand is partly due to the current economic situation and partly due to the fact that fewer women are in the fertile age. Oddly enough, the ageing population does not seem to affect mortality. The annual number of deaths has remained fairly stable in recent years.
Births and mortality
Arie de Graaf