More immigrants from EU countries

  • more immigrants and emigrants from EU 26
  • emigration increases more rapidly than immigration in 2011
  • fewer births, mortality stable

On 1 January 2012, the population of the Netherlands totalled more than 16.7 million persons, an increase by 70 thousand from 1 January 2011. The latest population figures released by Statistics Netherlands show that the natural population growth (births minus deaths) was 44 thousand and net migration was 26 thousand.

More immigrants from EU countries

Immigration numbered 160 thousand last year, i.e. 6 thousand more than in 2010. The growth is almost entirely due to immigration from other EU countries. With 64 thousand, of whom 19 thousand natives from Poland, four in every ten immigrants came from one of the 26 EU countries. Immigration from Southern Europe rose further last year; 3 thousand from Spain and nearly 3 thousand from Italy, i.e. twice as many as in 2007, prior to the economic crisis. Immigration from Africa slowed down in 2011, but immigrantion from Asia grew marginally.

One in three emigrants native Dutch

Last year, 134 thousand emigrants left the Netherlands, 13 thousand more than in the preceding year. Native Dutch and people from other EU countries mainly account for the emigration growth. With 47 thousand, more than one in three emigrants in 2011 were native Dutch; 39 thousand emigrants were born in another EU country. One third of native Dutch emigrants were people with a non-western background belonging to the second generation.

Net migration down

Last year, 160 thousand immigrants came to the Netherlands and 134 thousand people left the Netherlands to settle elsewhere. Net migration was 26 thousand, 7 thousand fewer than in 2010, because emigration increased more than immigration in 2011.

Fewer births, mortality stable

Last year, 179 thousand babies were born in the Netherlands, 5 thousand fewer than in 2010. The negative growth is partly due to the economic situation and partly due to the declining number of women in fertile age. Although the population is ageing, mortality was approximately the same as in 2010 (136 thousand). With 44 thousand, the natural population growth, defined as births minus deaths, was marginally lower in 2011 than in 2010.