Forecast: 18 million inhabitants in 2029

According to the latest forecast by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the population of the Netherlands will continue to grow in the coming years. The 18 millionth inhabitant is expected to arrive in 2029. Nearly one-quarter of the population will be aged 65 or over. The number of inhabitants is expected to reach 18.6 million in 2060.

(English subtitles available)

The population forecast describes the most likely future development of the Dutch population. In this forecast, CBS uses a simulation model which uses research assumptions regarding births, deaths, migration and life expectancy as the basis for projections.

Population on 1 January (x million)
 ObservationForecastForecast interval 95%Forecast interval 67%
198014.091
198114.209
198214.286
198314.340
198414.395
198514.454
198614.529
198714.615
198814.715
198914.805
199014.893
199115.010
199215.129
199315.239
199415.342
199515.424
199615.494
199715.567
199815.654
199915.760
200015.864
200115.987
200216.105
200316.193
200416.258
200516.306
200616.334
200716.358
200816.405
200916.486
201016.575
201116.656
201216.730
201316.780
201416.829
201516.901
201616.979
201717.082
201817.181
201917.28517.245 - 17.32517.265 - 17.306
202017.37817.298 - 17.46017.340 - 17.422
202117.45917.336 - 17.59317.396 - 17.531
202217.53017.355 - 17.72017.440 - 17.627
202317.59817.382 - 17.84317.486 - 17.722
202417.66417.391 - 17.96217.525 - 17.817
202517.72917.391 - 18.09317.559 - 17.911
202617.79317.391 - 18.22217.592 - 18.008
202717.85517.376 - 18.32517.627 - 18.093
202817.91617.386 - 18.45017.654 - 18.191
202917.97417.385 - 18.55917.684 - 18.281
203018.03017.374 - 18.67717.720 - 18.375
203118.08417.373 - 18.80117.741 - 18.462
203218.13517.374 - 18.92517.765 - 18.538
203318.18317.360 - 19.06117.777 - 18.617
203418.22717.344 - 19.16717.782 - 18.683
203518.26817.321 - 19.28017.805 - 18.756
203618.30517.307 - 19.37517.814 - 18.834
203718.33917.278 - 19.47217.805 - 18.906
203818.37017.246 - 19.56917.800 - 18.976
203918.39617.226 - 19.66817.792 - 19.040
204018.42017.191 - 19.76717.790 - 19.100
204118.44017.142 - 19.82917.775 - 19.158
204218.45717.096 - 19.89117.761 - 19.236
204318.47117.042 - 20.00317.745 - 19.285
204418.48316.974 - 20.09217.740 - 19.328
204518.49416.918 - 20.15617.708 - 19.346
204618.50216.883 - 20.20517.685 - 19.384
204718.50916.824 - 20.23617.656 - 19.385
204818.51516.763 - 20.28717.623 - 19.411
204918.52016.698 - 20.32517.611 - 19.446
205018.52516.677 - 20.39017.577 - 19.500
205118.52916.613 - 20.45917.540 - 19.542
205218.53416.578 - 20.51617.514 - 19.564
205318.54016.519 - 20.62217.488 - 19.597
205418.54616.444 - 20.68617.439 - 19.619
205518.55316.403 - 20.73317.426 - 19.679
205618.56316.357 - 20.84317.398 - 19.712
205718.57416.327 - 20.93417.399 - 19.762
205818.58716.307 - 21.02617.381 - 19.822
205918.60316.300 - 21.14817.367 - 19.880
206018.62116.279 - 21.19017.348 - 19.926

The forecast figures are subject to uncertainties. For example, the number of migrants can fluctuate sharply from year to year. It is also uncertain whether the average life span will continue to rise at the same pace and whether Dutch households will keep their preference for having two children. Taking account of these uncertainties, further population growth remains likely at least until the late 2030s. In the ensuing years, the population could either grow or shrink. In all likelihood, the population will reach between 17.3 and 19.9 million by 2060.

Almost one-quarter aged 65 years and over

According to the forecast, there will be 4.2 million over-65s in the Netherlands by the year 2030, 920 thousand more than the current number (start of 2019, provisional figure). This group will constitute 23 percent of the population by that year, versus 19 percent at present. The number of over-80s will rise in particular, from 0.8 million at present to 1.2 million by 2030. The increase in the number of elderly people is not only due to the post-war baby boom but also to higher life expectancy, which is expected to rise even further.

Population of the Netherlands on 1 January, by age (x million)
 0 tot 19 yrs20 to 64 yrs65 to 79 yrs80 yrs and over
20003.8739.8391.6520.5
20103.92810.1081.890.648
2019*3.79310.1772.5150.8
20303.76610.033.0031.231
* provisional figure

More elderly than youth

By 2030, the number of 0 to 19-year-olds will have remained more or less the same, namely 3.8 million. However, there will be fewer teenagers and more children under the age of seven. Relatively few babies have been born in recent years but an increase is expected for the next few years. In the Netherlands, people under the age of 20 currently outnumber those over the age of 65 by nearly half a million. Due to an ageing population, there will be an inverse ratio in 2030; the over-65s will outnumber young people by almost half a million.

Age composition of the Netherlands, 1 January
LeeftijdMannen (2019)Vrouwen (2019)Mannen (prognose 2030)Vrouwen (prognose 2030)
99 yrs and over626318913904921
98 yrs553223610262953
97 yrs843336016544434
96 yrs1356482524606118
95 yrs2197663336768421
94 yrs29438908522911078
93 yrs413211065723614320
92 yrs575214050950617677
91 yrs7430167671296522491
90 yrs9665207661625326965
89 yrs12002241652041231753
88 yrs15337288362358334681
87 yrs18266319112857440138
86 yrs21649358493512647144
85 yrs24343381564114653487
84 yrs28274416984322054469
83 yrs32012447036615480002
82 yrs36029481316843181386
81 yrs39263505506945680032
80 yrs45285557827084780619
79 yrs48845590987305282005
78 yrs53697625527578983588
77 yrs55014622698096988975
76 yrs60007666778299990511
75 yrs67229732108642693391
74 yrs72693785098921396862
73 yrs71283762199379199997
72 yrs10262910730397047103219
71 yrs100865105421101011106259
70 yrs97999100640105150110150
69 yrs9626298765107425111942
68 yrs9614598286111921116111
67 yrs9693398147114158117839
66 yrs101167102766118141120347
65 yrs101626102998121271122959
64 yrs103970104987120412121344
63 yrs105646107715119360120668
62 yrs109582110182119706120552
61 yrs111849112787121127122744
60 yrs115102115302127377128521
59 yrs118611118768124955126673
58 yrs120193120129120595122190
57 yrs123850123813114799117919
56 yrs125335125096106803109386
55 yrs128635127143103710106067
54 yrs13111512940899867102090
53 yrs129224127087100026101175
52 yrs12714612579198853100980
51 yrs126653125155100555102530
50 yrs127543127062100812102638
49 yrs133375132562104443105891
48 yrs130197130201102941105151
47 yrs124883125041101318102492
46 yrs118273120173100962102436
45 yrs109476110961103979104771
44 yrs105884107254105854106821
43 yrs101526102744108375109616
42 yrs101341101371110332109425
41 yrs99881100885110033109772
40 yrs101575102164111519111120
39 yrs101831101981116342114384
38 yrs105541105164116400114560
37 yrs103826104133116060113427
36 yrs102515101399115581113063
35 yrs102222101225116392113385
34 yrs105374103545114033110999
33 yrs107132105495114710110254
32 yrs109211108058114971112104
31 yrs110668107555119119115262
30 yrs110198107949119951115462
29 yrs111351109182121719117837
28 yrs115896112245119998115677
27 yrs115285111951118941114440
26 yrs114336110392118067113436
25 yrs113054109534113997109951
24 yrs112863109436110742106231
23 yrs109182106166109248104407
22 yrs108963104762106242102480
21 yrs108258105850107668102885
20 yrs111650107475106391101571
19 yrs11075710551310422199459
18 yrs11049110541610045294380
17 yrs1069491015009690691156
16 yrs1056581004829411188485
15 yrs104809997889480590496
14 yrs101028967559245087705
13 yrs98308936489310988147
12 yrs97539924789126786428
11 yrs95324913459054086076
10 yrs97497925539154287125
9 yrs97105924169281688390
8 yrs96498924089441789907
7 yrs94432896019572991111
6 yrs92350878229712792411
5 yrs90084852589856193771
4 yrs91311874769974194868
3 yrs891158466810061995684
2 yrs896248497110110296155
1 yrs876238310910120596341
0 yrs866318250310117696343

Fewer 20 to 64-year-olds

The number of 20 to 64-year-olds will decrease from 10.1 million currently to 10 million in 2030. Their share in the population will drop from 59 to 56 percent. The composition of this group will change: there will be fewer people in their forties and fifties, and more people in their thirties. The increase in this younger cohort mainly concerns individuals born in the Netherlands, including migrant children and grandchildren of the baby-boom generation. As a result, the number of live births will go up in the future.

Two-thirds of population growth due to migration

By the year 2030, the population is expected to have grown by 745 thousand. Two-thirds of the growth can be attributed to migration (more immigration than emigration), one-third is caused by a higher natural growth (more live births than deaths). The share of inhabitants with a migration background will increase from 24 percent at the start of 2019 to 27 percent in 2030. This group includes people born abroad as well as their Dutch-born children.
Until 2030, an average 230 thousand immigrants per year are expected to arrive in the Netherlands, while 187 thousand emigrants are expected to leave the country. For a large part, these are former immigrants leaving again. This would mean a net migration of 43 thousand per year on average, 5 thousand down on the period 2010-2018.
According to the forecast, the number of live births will rise by an average 187 thousand per year between 2019 and 2030. Due to an ageing population, mortality will go up as well, to 162 thousand on average during this period. The changes in these flows will have a downward effect on the population growth in the coming ten years.

Population dynamics, annual averages (x 1,000)
 ImmigrationEmigrationBirthsDeathsPopulation growth
2000-2009118.6-107.8192.9-137.666.2
2010-2018192.8-144.6174.2-143.578.9
2019-2029230.3-187.3186.6-161.967.7

Comparison with previous forecast

Population forecasts are adjusted on an annual basis, in line with the latest developments and new insights. Compared to the forecast in 2017, adjustments have been made mainly in the area of migration. In the future, not only immigration is expected to rise; the number of emigrants will go up as well. According to the latest forecast, by 2060, the Netherlands will have 183 thousand inhabitants more than the number stated in the previous forecast.

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