More family migrants in work

Over 40 percent of family migrants aged 20 or older who arrived in the Netherlands in 2015 and were still there after one year, earned the bulk of their income as an employed or self-employed person. This was still 33 percent in 2004. After one year in the Netherlands, family migrants from EU countries are more often in work than those from outside of the EU. This is reported today by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Among the family migrants from EU countries aged 20 and up who came to the Netherlands in 2015 and were still residing here after one year, 62 percent had labour as the main source of income. The primary reason for family migrants to come to the Netherlands is not work, but marriage, cohabitation or following a family member. The share of family migrants who came to the Netherlands in 2004 and had a job the following year stood at 53 percent. This increase is partly due to a growing number of family migrants from countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007.

Among the group of family migrants aged 20 or older who arrived in 2004 from outside the EU, 30 percent were employed one year upon arrival. Part of this group follow in the footsteps of asylum seekers; they go through the mandatory civic integration programme and as a result, fewer of these migrants are working in the year following their immigration.

Family migrants (over-20s) with labour as the main source of income, 1 year after immigration* (%)
 Non-EU countriesEU countriesTotal
199931.154.235.5
200031.261.637
200131.459.736.3
200231.557.935.5
200330.254.933.3
200429.55333
200530.451.535.5
200633.556.439.7
200737.354.642
200836.157.442
200932.455.838.9
201031.857.739.6
201132.15939.8
201228.858.738.3
201327.259.737.7
201430.262.240.6
201530.162.240.5
* Still in the Netherlands 1 year after immigration

Three in four Polish family migrants employed after one year

Among the group of Polish family migrants aged 20 and over who came to the Netherlands in 2015 and still lived here after twelve months, three in four were in work. Around half of the Germans and Brits had work, against a quarter of the Indians. Still hardly any Syrian family migrants (often relatives of asylum seekers) were in work after one year. They must first complete the integration programme and acquire Dutch language skills, and only then can they explore the Dutch labour market. The largest groups of family migrants in 2015 came from these five countries.

Family migrants (over-20s) from 2015, main source of income, 2016* (%)
 In workBenefit or pensionIn educationOther (no income)
Poland74.69.10.316
Syria1.193.30.15.6
Germany43.82.211.542.6
India24.20.70.674.5
United Kingdom56.62.93.137.4
* Still in the Netherlands 1 year after immigration

Half of family migrants from the EU

In the period 1999–2004, on average one-quarter of the family migrants came from the EU. Thereafter, this share grew to exceed 55 percent in the period 2012-2015. The expansion of the EU with Central and Eastern European countries in 2004 and 2007 not only led to a higher number of migrant workers, but also to a higher number of partners, children and other family members who followed in their wake. Partly on account of the war in Syria, family migration from outside the EU has risen again since 2012. In 2016, there were slightly more family migrants from countries outside the EU than from EU countries.

Family migrants, by migration background (x 1,000)
 Non-EU countriesEU countries
199925.9859.713
200032.13910.271
200134.12410.233
200233.7929.301
200330.1758.331
200422.9097.799
200517.35911.42
200615.75913.523
200714.03518.132
200818.61421.511
200920.2520.86
201021.02522.261
201120.80624.505
201218.88125.575
201322.23326.337
201422.59128.093
201525.58228.471
201630.39529.803

Family reunification primary motive for migration

Family migrants have already constituted the largest group of non-Dutch migrants coming to the Netherlands for years. In 2016, 60 thousand people immigrated for family motives (family reunification or family formation), almost double the number of labour and asylum migrants (34 thousand each).

Migration motives of non-Dutch immigrants, all ages (x 1,000)
 WorkAsylumFamilyEducation
199912.43512.98535.557.205
200014.37514.2842.2559.58
200114.79512.54544.2111.595
200212.588.4642.9912.735
200310.9253.01538.39511.825
200411.211.5630.63511.42
200510.3051.55528.72511.49
200612.791.5729.21512.495
200717.432.87532.10512.955
200823.165.3640.0516.065
200919.687.1341.01517.75
201021.1655.44543.219.73
201123.4555.30545.2320.995
201222.4954.09544.39521.835
201324.455.38548.48520.03
201430.4313.550.60519.135
201531.65525.80553.9521.395
201633.9233.83560.02521.72