Forecast: 18.4 million inhabitants in 2060

© Hollandse Hoogte
According to the latest forecast by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the population of the Netherlands will continue to grow over the next few decades to beyond 18.4 million inhabitants by 2060. The 18 millionth inhabitant is expected to arrive in 2031. In the future, the Dutch population will comprise more elderly people and more people with a migration background. The population forecast is aimed at projecting the most likely scenario for the future development of the Dutch population.

English subtitles available

In this forecast, CBS uses a simulation model which determines population size at the end of a given year by offsetting births, deaths, migration and ageing against the population size at the start of that year. By performing this calculation for each year in the past, a progressive projection into the future can be realised. For this model, a probability calculation is performed for the number of births, deaths and migrations over a period of one year.  The number of immigrants also serves as input.

Population

Growth mainly due to immigation and increasing life expectancy

The population is growing on account of two factors: migrant arrivals exceeding departures, and increasing life expectancy. Although the number of births will continue to rise in the next few years, eventually this will not be sufficient compensation for the rising number of deaths. Based on current insights, there will be more deaths than births among the population as of the late 2030s.

Forecast uncertainty

The number of migrants can fluctuate sharply from year to year. Therefore, immigration and emigration forecasts for the short term carry major uncertainties. There is more certainty in forecasts of births and deaths, although the related uncertainty will increase more sharply in the long term. Taking account of these uncertainties, further population growth remains likely at least until around 2040. In the ensuing years, the population could either grow or shrink. In all likelihood, the population will reach between 17.2 and 19.7 million by 2060.

More inhabitants with foreign roots

Over the past two decades, the population has increased by 1.5 million inhabitants. Of this group, 86 percent were people with a migration background. International migration has been a major contributor in this development. Migration from other EU countries and from Asia, for labour as well as for studies, has risen sharply over the past decade. There has also been a significant influx of asylum migrants in recent years. On the other hand, migration from traditional countries of origin such as Morocco, Turkey and Surinam has declined.

Over the next few decades, the population of the Netherlands will grow solely on account of migrant arrivals, against a decline in the number of native Dutch inhabitants. As of 2017, 23 percent of the population have a western or non-western migration background. This share is expected to reach 34 percent by 2060. Over half of those with a migration background will have been born in the Netherlands, both now and in the future, with at least one of the parents born outside the Netherlands (the second generation).

Population by migration background (x mln)
 DutchDutch (forecast)WesternWestern (forecast)Non-westernNon-western (forecast)
199613Data is unknown or confidential1.33Data is unknown or confidential1.17Data is unknown or confidential
'9713.01Data is unknown or confidential1.33Data is unknown or confidential1.22Data is unknown or confidential
'9813.03Data is unknown or confidential1.34Data is unknown or confidential1.28Data is unknown or confidential
'9913.06Data is unknown or confidential1.35Data is unknown or confidential1.35Data is unknown or confidential
'0013.09Data is unknown or confidential1.37Data is unknown or confidential1.41Data is unknown or confidential
'0113.12Data is unknown or confidential1.39Data is unknown or confidential1.48Data is unknown or confidential
'0213.14Data is unknown or confidential1.41Data is unknown or confidential1.56Data is unknown or confidential
'0313.15Data is unknown or confidential1.42Data is unknown or confidential1.62Data is unknown or confidential
'0413.17Data is unknown or confidential1.42Data is unknown or confidential1.67Data is unknown or confidential
'0513.18Data is unknown or confidential1.42Data is unknown or confidential1.7Data is unknown or confidential
'0613.19Data is unknown or confidential1.43Data is unknown or confidential1.72Data is unknown or confidential
'0713.19Data is unknown or confidential1.43Data is unknown or confidential1.74Data is unknown or confidential
'0813.19Data is unknown or confidential1.45Data is unknown or confidential1.77Data is unknown or confidential
'0913.2Data is unknown or confidential1.48Data is unknown or confidential1.81Data is unknown or confidential
'1013.22Data is unknown or confidential1.5Data is unknown or confidential1.86Data is unknown or confidential
'1113.23Data is unknown or confidential1.53Data is unknown or confidential1.9Data is unknown or confidential
'1213.24Data is unknown or confidential1.56Data is unknown or confidential1.94Data is unknown or confidential
'1313.24Data is unknown or confidential1.58Data is unknown or confidential1.97Data is unknown or confidential
'1413.23Data is unknown or confidential1.6Data is unknown or confidential2Data is unknown or confidential
'1513.24Data is unknown or confidential1.63Data is unknown or confidential2.04Data is unknown or confidential
'1613.23Data is unknown or confidential1.66Data is unknown or confidential2.1Data is unknown or confidential
'1713.2213.211.691.732.172.24
'18Data is unknown or confidential13.21Data is unknown or confidential1.73Data is unknown or confidential2.24
'19Data is unknown or confidential13.2Data is unknown or confidential1.77Data is unknown or confidential2.3
'20Data is unknown or confidential13.18Data is unknown or confidential1.8Data is unknown or confidential2.35
'21Data is unknown or confidential13.17Data is unknown or confidential1.83Data is unknown or confidential2.4
'22Data is unknown or confidential13.16Data is unknown or confidential1.86Data is unknown or confidential2.44
'23Data is unknown or confidential13.15Data is unknown or confidential1.89Data is unknown or confidential2.49
'24Data is unknown or confidential13.14Data is unknown or confidential1.92Data is unknown or confidential2.54
'25Data is unknown or confidential13.13Data is unknown or confidential1.94Data is unknown or confidential2.58
'26Data is unknown or confidential13.12Data is unknown or confidential1.96Data is unknown or confidential2.62
'27Data is unknown or confidential13.11Data is unknown or confidential1.99Data is unknown or confidential2.67
'28Data is unknown or confidential13.11Data is unknown or confidential2.01Data is unknown or confidential2.71
'29Data is unknown or confidential13.1Data is unknown or confidential2.03Data is unknown or confidential2.75
'30Data is unknown or confidential13.09Data is unknown or confidential2.05Data is unknown or confidential2.8
'31Data is unknown or confidential13.08Data is unknown or confidential2.07Data is unknown or confidential2.84
'32Data is unknown or confidential13.07Data is unknown or confidential2.09Data is unknown or confidential2.88
'33Data is unknown or confidential13.05Data is unknown or confidential2.11Data is unknown or confidential2.92
'34Data is unknown or confidential13.04Data is unknown or confidential2.13Data is unknown or confidential2.96
'35Data is unknown or confidential13.02Data is unknown or confidential2.14Data is unknown or confidential3
'36Data is unknown or confidential12.99Data is unknown or confidential2.16Data is unknown or confidential3.04
'37Data is unknown or confidential12.97Data is unknown or confidential2.18Data is unknown or confidential3.07
'38Data is unknown or confidential12.94Data is unknown or confidential2.2Data is unknown or confidential3.11
'39Data is unknown or confidential12.91Data is unknown or confidential2.21Data is unknown or confidential3.15
'40Data is unknown or confidential12.88Data is unknown or confidential2.23Data is unknown or confidential3.18
'41Data is unknown or confidential12.85Data is unknown or confidential2.25Data is unknown or confidential3.22
'42Data is unknown or confidential12.81Data is unknown or confidential2.26Data is unknown or confidential3.25
'43Data is unknown or confidential12.77Data is unknown or confidential2.28Data is unknown or confidential3.29
'44Data is unknown or confidential12.73Data is unknown or confidential2.3Data is unknown or confidential3.32
'45Data is unknown or confidential12.69Data is unknown or confidential2.31Data is unknown or confidential3.35
'46Data is unknown or confidential12.64Data is unknown or confidential2.33Data is unknown or confidential3.39
'47Data is unknown or confidential12.6Data is unknown or confidential2.34Data is unknown or confidential3.42
'48Data is unknown or confidential12.55Data is unknown or confidential2.36Data is unknown or confidential3.45
'49Data is unknown or confidential12.51Data is unknown or confidential2.38Data is unknown or confidential3.48
'50Data is unknown or confidential12.46Data is unknown or confidential2.39Data is unknown or confidential3.51
'51Data is unknown or confidential12.42Data is unknown or confidential2.41Data is unknown or confidential3.54
'52Data is unknown or confidential12.38Data is unknown or confidential2.43Data is unknown or confidential3.57
'53Data is unknown or confidential12.33Data is unknown or confidential2.44Data is unknown or confidential3.6
'54Data is unknown or confidential12.29Data is unknown or confidential2.46Data is unknown or confidential3.63
'55Data is unknown or confidential12.25Data is unknown or confidential2.48Data is unknown or confidential3.66
'56Data is unknown or confidential12.22Data is unknown or confidential2.49Data is unknown or confidential3.68
'57Data is unknown or confidential12.18Data is unknown or confidential2.51Data is unknown or confidential3.71
'58Data is unknown or confidential12.15Data is unknown or confidential2.52Data is unknown or confidential3.74
'59Data is unknown or confidential12.12Data is unknown or confidential2.54Data is unknown or confidential3.76
'60Data is unknown or confidential12.09Data is unknown or confidential2.56Data is unknown or confidential3.79

Ageing population

The high birth rates immediately after World War Two and over the 1950 and ‘60s gave a significant boost to the current number of elderly people.  Another contributing factor is the rise in life expectancy, which is expected to continue.  According to this population forecast, the share of over-65s in the population will increase from 18 percent in 2017 to 26 percent as of 2040. An increasingly large share will be 80 years old or more.

The number of elderly people with a migration background will grow. This share is currently 14 percent, but is forecast to reach 28 percent by 2060.

For the time being, the number of 20 to 65-year-olds will stay around 10.1 million, followed by a decline around 2040 to 9.6 million and increasing again slightly to 9.8 million in 2060. Owing to the recent increase in immigration, the latter age group has started to grow since 2014 and a decline is not likely for a few more years.

Population by age cohort (forecast as of 2018) (x million)
 0 to 19 yrs20 to 64 yrs65 to 79 yrs80 yrs or older
19503.745.510.670.1
'513.815.60.690.1
'523.855.660.710.11
'533.895.70.730.11
'543.955.740.750.12
'5545.790.770.12
'564.065.850.780.13
'574.125.90.80.14
'584.195.950.820.14
'594.276.020.840.15
'604.336.070.860.15
'614.396.120.890.16
'624.466.180.910.17
'634.536.250.930.17
'644.586.330.960.18
'654.636.420.980.19
'664.696.510.19
'674.666.661.020.2
'684.646.771.040.21
'694.646.881.070.22
'704.666.991.090.22
'714.687.11.110.23
'724.697.211.130.24
'734.697.31.150.24
'744.677.391.180.25
'754.657.491.20.26
'764.627.621.220.27
'774.587.721.240.28
'784.537.821.260.29
'794.487.931.280.3
'804.438.041.30.31
'814.48.171.320.32
'824.338.291.330.34
'834.258.41.340.35
'844.178.521.350.36
'854.088.641.360.37
'864.028.741.390.38
'873.978.841.410.39
'883.928.951.430.41
'893.879.051.460.42
'903.829.161.480.43
'913.799.291.50.44
'923.769.411.520.44
'933.759.511.530.46
'943.759.581.540.46
'953.769.631.560.48
'963.779.661.580.48
'973.799.71.60.49
'983.819.741.620.49
'993.849.791.630.5
20003.879.841.650.5
'013.919.91.660.52
'023.949.971.670.53
'033.97101.680.54
'043.9910.021.690.56
'053.9910.031.720.57
'063.9810.031.740.59
'073.9610.031.770.6
'083.9410.051.80.62
'093.9310.081.840.63
'103.9310.111.890.65
'113.9110.151.930.67
'123.8910.122.030.69
'133.8710.082.120.7
'143.8510.062.20.72
'153.8310.062.270.73
'163.8210.082.340.75
'173.8210.12.40.76
'183.8110.142.460.78
'193.7910.162.510.8
'203.7610.182.570.82
'213.7410.192.620.85
'223.7210.22.680.87
'233.710.22.730.89
'243.6910.192.780.93
'253.6910.172.830.96
'263.6910.142.890.99
'273.710.12.91.06
'283.7210.062.921.13
'293.7310.022.961.18
'303.749.9731.23
'313.759.933.041.27
'323.779.893.071.31
'333.799.843.11.35
'343.819.793.141.38
'353.839.733.181.42
'363.859.683.211.45
'373.889.633.231.49
'383.99.63.231.52
'393.929.583.221.56
'403.939.573.191.6
'413.959.573.161.64
'423.969.573.111.68
'433.969.593.071.72
'443.969.63.021.76
'453.969.612.981.81
'463.959.622.941.85
'473.949.642.91.88
'483.939.662.861.91
'493.929.692.821.94
'503.919.712.771.98
'513.899.732.742.01
'523.889.742.712.04
'533.879.762.72.05
'543.869.772.72.05
'553.869.782.712.04
'563.859.782.732.02
'573.859.792.762.01
'583.859.792.781.99
'593.859.792.81.98
'603.869.792.821.96
 

Comparison with previous forecast

Population forecasts are adjusted periodically in line with the most recent developments and newly gained insights. Compared to the forecast in 2014, adjustments have mainly been made in the field of international migration. In the future, not only immigration is expected to rise; the number of emigrants will go up as well, mainly on account of departing former immigrants. Due to a relatively high death rate since 2014, life expectancy has declined slightly. The number of births will drop over the next few years as more young women are postponing motherhood. By 2060, the Netherlands is expected to have 0.4 million inhabitants more than stated in the previous forecast. More details on the comparison with the previous forecast can be found in the background article (in Dutch only) Population forecast: 18.4 million inhabitants in 2060.

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