Number of immigrants and emigrants remains high in 2018

© Nikki van Toorn (CBS)
In the first three quarters of 2018, the population of the Netherlands grew by 81 thousand. Population growth is similar to the same period one year previously. Foreign migration is the largest contributing factor. The number of foreigners who registered with a Dutch municipality exceeded the number of people who left by 69.5 thousand. In addition, there were over 11 thousand more births than deaths. This is evident from provisional figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

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Population dynamics, Q1 to Q3 2018 + 80,500 net population growth + 69,400 net migration 116,500 emigration 185,900 immigration 115,800 deaths + 11,200 natural growth 127,000 births

A large part of the annual migratory movements occurs in Q3. Therefore, figures up to and including September already provide an indication of annual population growth for this year. From Q1 to Q3 2018, the Netherlands received 186 thousand immigrants, up by 4.5 thousand relative to the same period one year previously. At the same time, the number of emigrants stood at 116.5 thousand, representing a year-on-year increase of 1.5 thousand. As a result, net migration has so far increased by around 3 thousand relative to the previous year.

Migration, January up to September inclusive (x 1,000)
 Migration balanceImmigrationEmigration
*provisional figures

More European and fewer Asian migrants

The trend which was already seen in the first six months of this year has continued. On balance, the number of Asian (including Syrian) migrants is decreasing, while immigration from Africa, the Americas and especially Europe is growing. To date, 92 thousand immigrants from Europe have settled in the Netherlands while 56 thousand have departed. Persons with a Polish background still constitute the largest group, with over 16.5 thousand immigrants and 10 thousand emigrants up to and including Q3 2018.

Migration balance by origin, January up to September inclusive* (x 1,000)
Europe (excl. Netherlands)35.72930.293
*provisional figures

Immigration from other European countries as well has shown a rising trend. In the first three quarters of 2018, more than 11 thousand Bulgarians and Romanians registered with a Dutch municipality. Since 2007 - the year in which Bulgaria and Romania joined the European Union - the number of both immigrants and emigrants from these countries has increased. Between January and September of this year, 5 thousand people with a Bulgarian or Romanian background departed as emigrants.

Migration from Bulgaria and Romania, January up to September inclusive (x 1,000)
 Migration balanceImmigrationEmigration
*provisional figures

The number of migrants with an Asian background decreased. Over 35 thousand Asian migrants registered in the first three quarters, more than 7.5 thousand down on the previous year. Emigration remained at around the same level. There were mainly fewer immigrants from Syria, resulting in a level of Asian migration similar to 2015.
Furthermore, there were fewer immigrants and emigrants with a Dutch background. The negative net emigration of last year was therefore slightly lower this year.

Natural growth lags behind

The year started with a relatively high number of deaths. Total mortality over the first three quarters stood at 116 thousand, i.e. up by 3.5 thousand on the previous year. The number of live births remained at around the same level (127 thousand). This led to a slightly lower natural population growth rate (live births minus deaths) in the period January-September relative to the same period in 2017. For several years now, the number of births and therefore the natural population growth has been relatively low.

Balance of births and deaths, per quarter (x 1,000)
 Natural growth
2012 Q15.234
2012 Q29.373
2012 Q313.429
2012 Q47.11
2013 Q11.488
2013 Q27.384
2013 Q313.8
2013 Q47.424
2014 Q16.694
2014 Q210.02
2014 Q312.789
2014 Q46.455
2015 Q1-1.515
2015 Q26.715
2015 Q311.977
2015 Q46.199
2016 Q11.046
2016 Q27.187
2016 Q312.065
2016 Q43.225
2017 Q1-2.245
2017 Q26.14
2017 Q310.888
2017 Q44.39
2018 Q1-5.969
2018 Q26.914
2018 Q310.237
*provisional figures