Dutch and EU population growth mainly due to migration

© Hollandse Hoogte
The Netherlands is one of the 19 member states of the European Union (EU) with a growing population. This is mainly due to migration, which is also the case in most other countries with population growth. This is evident from figures released by Eurostat.

Balance per 1,000 inhabitants: ( persons per 1,000 inhabitants)
 Growth or contraction
Belgium5.4
Bulgaria-7.3
Czech Republic2.9
Denmark5.6
Germany4
Estonia2.7
Ireland11.2
Greece-2.7
Spain2.8
France3.5
Croatia-11.8
Italy-1.7
Cyprus11
Latvia-8.1
Lithuania-13.8
Luxembourg19
Hungary-2
Malta32.9
Netherlands5.8
Austria5.6
Poland0.1
Portugal-1.8
Romania-6.2
Slovenia0.5
Slovakia1.4
Finland1.8
Sweden12.4
United Kingdom6.5
1The figure on the Netherlands is based on StatLine; figures on the other EU countries, on Eurostat

In general, Western European countries saw population growth in 2017, whereas the population of the Eastern member states increased less rapidly than the EU average or even contracted. The Dutch population increased by 5.8 per thousand inhabitants, ranking sixth in the EU as a result. Population growth on Malta was relatively the highest with 32.9 per thousand inhabitants.

A country’s population growth or contraction is the sum of natural growth (live births minus deaths) and net migration (immigration minus emigration).

Lithuania and Croatia contracting, mainly due to migration

In 16 out of the 19 EU countries with population growth, migration is the main contributing factor. This holds true for Malta, Luxembourg, Sweden and Cyprus for example, but also for the Netherlands. On the other hand, the number of inhabitants is declining in many Eastern European EU countries, especially in Lithuania and Croatia, mainly because these countries recorded higher emigration than immigration levels. Labour migration is the predominant cause of this contraction.

German population growth merely due to migration

In 2017, more deaths than live births were recorded in 14 out of the 28 EU member states. In the Netherlands, the number of live births exceeded deaths by more than 1 per thousand inhabitants. Germany’s natural population growth was negative by almost -2 per thousand inhabitants. There were more people who immigrated than emigrated, however, which led to an increase in Germany’s population.

Balance per 1,000 inhabitants: ( persons per 1,000 inhabitants)
 Net migration
Belgium4.5
Bulgaria-0.8
Czech Republic2.7
Denmark4.2
Germany5.8
Estonia4
Ireland4.6
Greece0.6
Spain3.5
France1
Croatia-7.7
Italy1.4
Cyprus7.2
Latvia-4
Lithuania-9.7
Luxembourg15.8
Hungary1.8
Malta31.3
Netherlands4.7
Austria5.1
Poland0.1
Portugal0.5
Romania-2.5
Slovenia0.6
Slovakia0.7
Finland2.4
Sweden10.1
United Kingdom4.3
1The figure on the Netherlands is based on StatLine; figures on the other EU countries, on Eurostat

Balance per 1,000 inhabitants: ( persons per 1,000 inhabitants)
 Demographic balance
Belgium0.9
Bulgaria-6.5
Czech Republic0.3
Denmark1.4
Germany-1.8
Estonia-1.3
Ireland6.6
Greece-3.3
Spain-0.7
France2.5
Croatia-4.1
Italy-3.2
Cyprus3.8
Latvia-4.1
Lithuania-4
Luxembourg3.2
Hungary-3.8
Malta1.6
Netherlands1.1
Austria0.5
Poland0
Portugal-2.3
Romania-3.6
Slovenia-0.1
Slovakia0.7
Finland-0.6
Sweden2.3
United Kingdom2.2
1The figure on the Netherlands is based on StatLine; figures on the other EU countries, on Eurostat