Population growth rate continues to slow down

  • Population growth 13 thousand in first six months
  • Higher mortality, fewer births
  • Immigration up, emigration down

The population in the Netherlands has grown less rapidly over the past six months than in the same period last year. On 1 July, the Dutch population included 16.8 million people, an increase by 13 thousand relative to 1 January. In the first six months of 2012, the population growth was 14 thousand and in the first six months of 2011 the population grew by 31 thousand. The number of births over the first six months of 2013 was down from the first six months of 2012 and mortality was higher. The most recent figures released by Statistics Netherlands show that the population growth was mainly due to natural growth, partly to foreign migration.

Higher mortality, fewer births

In the first half of this year, 74 thousand people died, 2 thousand more than in the first half of 2012.The mortality increase is on a par with the growing number of elderly people. In the period 2002–2011, the number of elderly people also increased, but in that period mortality decreased. This development came to an end during the past eighteen months. The flu epidemics in 2012 and early 2013 and the relatively cold weather conditions in winter contributed to the higher mortality in the recent past.

In the first six months of this year, 83 thousand children were born, 4 thousand fewer than in the first half of 2012. Thus, the decline, which started in 2010, continues. The birth rate dropped notably among young women, which is not uncommon in times of economic distress.

Natural population growth defined as births minus deaths was 9 thousand in the first six months of 2013, i.e. 6 thousand down from one year previously. In 2012, natural growth had dropped to the lowest level since 1871, so the decline continued over the past six months.