More deaths than births in Q1

© Hollandse Hoogte
There were 6 thousand more deaths in the Netherlands than live births in the first quarter of 2018. Immigration exceeded emigration by 18.5 thousand. On balance, the population grew by 12.5 thousand, based on preliminary figures calculated by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

In recent years, the balance of births and deaths (i.e. the natural population increase) has been negative in the first quarter of a calendar year; this time, demographic decline was even greater. Total population growth was 5 thousand less than one year previously, due to lower net migration.

Balance of births and deaths (x 1,000)
   Natural population growth
2012I5.234
II9.373
III13.429
IV7.11
2013I1.488
II7.384
III13.8
IV7.424
2014I6.694
II10.02
III12.789
IV6.455
2015I-1.515
II6.715
III11.977
IV6.199
2016I1.046
II7.187
III12.065
IV3.225
2017*I-2.245
II6.14
III10.888
IV4.39
I-5.969
* Figures are provisional
 

Relatively high mortality, slightly fewer births

Mortality in this year’s first quarter was relatively high at 45.5 thousand. This is 3 thousand more deaths than in the same quarter of 2017, when the mortality rate was quite high already. The year 2018 is characterised by a long-lasting flu epidemic and several cold spells.
There were relatively many deaths among elderly people. In Q1 2018, mortality among people aged 80 and over was 29 percent above the annual average of 2017, while Q1 2017 showed a mortality rate among this group of 19 percent. The year-on-year gap in mortality was even wider relatively among the group of 65 to 79-year-olds: 19 percent above the annual average in Q1 2018, versus 9 percent one year previously.

Weekly figures on births and deaths (x 1,000)
   BirthsDeaths
2016403.4162.686
413.3082.932
423.2982.744
433.172.951
443.1682.731
453.1392.907
463.142.899
473.0932.908
483.1092.95
493.0053.04
503.1313.128
513.2333.071
522.8483.797
2017*13.163.569
23.1413.636
33.1353.491
43.3413.626
53.233.573
63.213.446
73.1423.417
82.9523.328
93.1323.152
102.9843.053
112.9852.845
123.1272.78
133.0642.852
143.0732.764
153.2442.809
163.0612.713
173.2832.775
183.1612.771
193.1972.802
203.2812.802
213.2122.774
223.2232.702
233.0912.622
243.2882.642
253.2192.628
263.4142.691
273.3462.697
283.4112.518
293.3822.675
303.4962.571
313.5342.509
323.4562.657
333.3572.539
343.4742.542
353.4212.574
363.4612.569
373.4472.704
383.4842.715
393.4652.671
403.3452.642
413.3342.764
423.2762.706
433.2522.677
443.2872.724
453.2922.799
463.2492.916
473.172.914
483.1712.884
493.1213.022
503.1763.207
513.1813.069
522.9443.184
2018*13.0183.34
23.1573.358
33.2713.362
43.2433.318
53.0523.399
63.0783.509
73.0913.651
83.053.684
92.9283.928
102.9974.08
112.9523.72
123.0563.421
133.153.204
* Figures are provisional


In the previous quarter, 39.6 thousand babies were born, which is over 500 below the number in Q1 2017. The Netherlands has seen a relatively low birth rate for several years. There is a fairly high probability of natural population decline in periods of excess mortality, especially during the winter months, with more deaths than general and fewer births than during the summer months.
During the rest of the year, there are fewer deaths and more births, which leads to a positive population growth rate on balance for the whole year. As the group of elderly is growing, the annual number of deaths may be expected to grow as well. The population forecast projects a natural increase until 2038, followed by a higher number of deaths than births thereafter.

More immigrants than emigrants

The population of the Netherlands has mainly grown on account of immigration in recent years. In the first few months of 2018 as well, more people settled in the country (53 thousand) than left (35 thousand). Net migration stood at 18.5 thousand, more than 1 thousand lower than in Q1 2017. Immigration in Q1 was lower than one year previously.

Over the past few years, the Netherlands have received a large number of migrants from Syria. They have constituted the largest group of migrants over the past three years. The influx of this group has now decreased; on balance, 1.3 thousand Syrians registered in Dutch municipalities during Q1 2018, versus over 6 thousand one year previously. Due to increased inflows of migrants from other countries - from Europe, Africa and the Americas – there was hardly any change in net migration. Migrants from Poland made up the largest group in Q1 for the first time since Q4 2014 with 2.5 thousand migrants on balance.

Net migration, native countries Poland and Syria (x 1,000)
   PolandSyria
2012I1.90
II1.80
III3.10.1
IV1.80.2
2013I2.50.3
II2.40.3
III2.90.4
IV2.10.8
2014I3.71.2
II31.5
III3.12.4
IV2.33.4
2015I2.74.8
II2.14.2
III3.15.2
IV1.86.4
2016I2.27.9
II2.77.1
III2.45.5
IV1.77
2017*I2.36.2
II2.34.7
III2.63.1
IV2.22.2
I2.51.3
* Figures are provisional