Dutch people in Europe: figures from the European census

In January 2011, nearly half a million Dutch people were living in other countries in Europe.This is revealed by the results of the European census which was conducted in 32 countries, and whose complete results are available from today in the Census Hub, the central census database.

Belgium has the most Dutch people in its population

The censuses show that on 1 January 2011 around 470 thousand people born in the Netherlands were living in one of the 31 other countries taking part in the 2011 census round. Most of them lived in Belgium (126 thousand) and Germany (112 thousand). In relative terms, Belgium has the largest ‘Dutch’ population: 16 percent of Belgian residents born not in Belgium but in another of the 31 countries came from the Netherlands. The Danes are in second place, with 4 percent. Although some 40 thousand people a year emigrate from the Netherlands, they only account for modest percentages in other European countries. One reason for this is that many emigrants return to the Netherlands sooner or later.

Share of Dutch-born migrants per country, 2011

Share of Dutch-born migrants per country, 2011

Relatively many young Dutch people in United Kingdom

Half of the 470 thousand Dutch-born residents in other countries are women. The share of women per country varies however, from 20 and 25 percent in Estonia and Latvia, to nearly 65 percent in Greece and Italy. In Belgium, women account for 50 percent and in Germany for 49 percent of Dutch migrants.

One quarter of Dutch-born men living in other census countries are younger than thirty, a third are between thirty and fifty and around 40 percent are fifty or older. For women these age ranges are similar, although there are slightly more women over fifty and slightly fewer between thirty and fifty. The age distribution is not the same for all countries In Belgium and Germany it is about average, but Denmark and Norway have relatively many 30-49 year-olds. Nearly half of Dutch people living in the United Kingdom are younger than thirty. This is because relatively many Dutch students live there.

Age distribution of Dutch-born men per country, 2011

Age distribution of Dutch-born men per country, 2011

Better insight into distribution of migrants across Europe

The Census Hub makes it possible to get a picture of the distribution of migrants across the countries of Europe. This is becoming an increasingly important issue as migration becomes more and more dynamic, for example as a result of globalisation and the growing size and influence of the European Union.