On 1 January last year, 265 thousand couples living in the Netherlands consisted of a partner born in the Netherlands and a foreign partner. Their number has grown by 22 thousand over the past decade. The most remarkable increase was recorded in the number of Dutchmen living with Thai or Russian women, which doubled.
265 thousand bi-national relationships
Altogether, 4.2 million couples are living in the Netherlands today, of whom 3.3 million are married and more than 800 thousand are living together. Some 175 thousand couples include a native Dutch partner and a partner with a western ethnic background. Indonesian-Dutch and German-Dutch couples are the most frequent combinations. In 90 thousand cases, one partner has a native Dutch background and the other one was born in non-western country. Surinamese-Dutch couples are most common followed by Antillean/Aruban-Dutch couples. Thai-Dutch couples constitute the third group.
Top 5 countries of origin of foreign partners (first-generation) of native Dutch, 2011
Notable increase Thai-Dutch couples
Between 2001 and 2011, the number of relations including one partner with a non-western ethnic background increased by 20 thousand. The increase was particularly high among Thai-Dutch couples (from 2.8 thousand to 5.7 thousand) and Brazilian-Dutch couples (from 2.1 thousand to 4.0 thousand).
Top 5 increase countries of origin of first-generation non-western partners of native Dutch, 2001-2011
Considerable increase partners from one of the former Warsaw Pact countries
The number of bi-national couples including a western partner has barely grown over the past decade, but the number of bi-national relationships involving a native Dutch partner and a person born in the former Soviet Union more than doubled: from 3.5 thousand to 7.3 thousand. The number of Polish-Dutch couples has also grown considerably: from 6.7 thousand to 9.6 thousand, but the number of Indonesian-Dutch and German-Dutch couples declined by 7.1 thousand and 3.2 thousand respectively over the past ten years.
Top 5 increase countries of origin of first-generation western partners of native Dutch, 2001-2011
Foreign women more common than foreign men
Six in every ten bi-national couples include a man born in the Netherlands and a woman born elsewhere. This applies to relationships involving persons born in western and non-western countries. More than 95 percent of Thai-Dutch couples consist of a Dutchman and a Thai woman. Relationships between a person born in the Netherlands and a person born in one of the former Warsaw Pact countries also mainly involve native Dutchmen and foreign women.
The opposite situation applies to Turkish-Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch couples: approximately two thirds are relations between native Dutchwomen and Turkish or Moroccan men.
Carel Harmsen, Jan Latten and Suzanne Loozen