In 2011, 500 unaccompanied foreign minors arrived in the Netherlands, i.e. 200 down from 2010. More than half were Afghan nationals.
Peak around the turn of the century
The number of unaccompanied foreign minors coming to the Netherlands was reduced to 500 in 2011, versus 700 in 2010. With a peak of 6.7 thousand children in 2000, the number of children coming to the Netherlands was considerably higher around the turn of the century. Subsequently, the influx slowed down quickly and has varied between four hundred and one thousand annually since 2004. The share of unaccompanied foreign minors in the overall number of asylum seekers is also lower. In the first years of the twenty-first century, about one in six asylum seekers were unaccompanied children, as against approximately one in twenty in recent years.
Unaccompanied foreign minors and asylum seekers
More than half come from Afghanistan
More than half of unaccompanied foreign minors arriving in the Netherlands in 2011 were Afghan nationals. Afghans have been the largest group since 2009. In 2008, Somali constituted the largest group. Around the turn of the century, most unaccompanied foreign minors came from Angola, Guinea, Sierra Leone and China.
Unaccompanied foreign minors and asylum seekers by nationality
The majority of unaccompanied foreign minors coming to the Netherlands are boys. Nine in ten Afghan unaccompanied foreign minors were boys. The male proportion is somewhat lower among other nationalities. With 60 percent, the proportion of men is significantly lower among adult asylum seekers.
Nearly 60 percent of unaccompanied foreign minors who came to the Netherlands in 2011 were 16 or 17-years-olds.
Asylum seekers and unaccompanied foreign minors by gender and nationality
Arno Sprangers and John de Winter