Relatively high population growth due to migration

© Hollandse Hoogte
On 1 January this year, the population in the Netherlands stood at almost 17.1 million, i.e. 110 thousand more than on 1 January 2016. Migration contributed most to the population growth. Net migration (defined as immigration minus emigration) was + 88 thousand. Natural population growth (births minus deaths) was + 22 thousand.

Ten fastest growing population groups with migrant background, 2016
 2nd generation1st generation
Former Netherlands
Antilles + Aruba
Former Soviet Union1.43

Syrian refugees contribute most to population growth

Save a few exceptions, nearly all groups with a migrant background have increased. With 29 thousand, first-generation Syrians, i.e. people born in Syria and migrated to the Netherlands, account for more than one-quarter of the population growth. With 2 thousand, the increase in second-generation Syrians (people born in the Netherlands and at least one parent born in Syria) was fairly modest. The number of migrants from other EU member states grew by approximately 25 thousand, mainly due to migration. Within the European Union, Polish nationals contributed the largest share (nearly 9 thousand), although growth is currently levelling off. In 2014, nearly 15 thousand Polish citizens emigrated to the Netherlands.
First-generation immigrants also account for the growing number of people from India, Eritrea and Ethiopia. The increase among Turks and Moroccans in the Netherlands is almost entirely due to second-generation immigrants. The share of first-generation Moroccans remained fairly stable, while the share of first-generation Turks declined marginally, partly as a result of emigration and death.
Population developments six ethnic groups, 2016
 2nd generation1st generationDutch origin

People with German, Indonesian or Dutch background down in number

Not all ethnic groups are increasing. The number of persons with a Dutch background fell marginally by 3 thousand, with a German background also by 3 thousand, i.e. about 1 percent of all people of German descent in the Netherlands. People from Indonesia living in the Netherlands also declined in number. In both cases, this is caused by the high mortality rates common in ageing populations. The number of first-generation people with a Somali or Surinamese background declined, while the second-generation share increased. Over half of first-generation Somali leave the Netherlands to settle in the United Kingdom. The decline among first-generation Surinamese is largely due to the high mortality rate.