Over 17.4 million inhabitants in the Netherlands

© Hollandse Hoogte / Co de Kruijf
In 2019, the population of the Netherlands grew by an estimated 132 thousand people to a total of over 17.4 million. It increased at a faster pace than over the previous three years. Last year, 31 thousand more inhabitants were added than in 2018. These were mainly people from abroad settling in the Netherlands, according to a new estimate by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Population dynamics in the Netherlands (x 1,000)
 2016201720182019*
Births172.5169.8168.5169.9
Deaths149150.2153.4151.7
Immigration230.7235243.7272.2
Emigration151.5154.3157.4157.9
Growth102.499.6101.1132.4
*estimate

Although not all data over 2019 have been processed, CBS estimates that 272 thousand people settled in the Netherlands last year; this is 28 thousand up on 2018. The number of emigrants remained more or less the same as in the previous year at 158 thousand. This means that, on balance, the population grew by 114 thousand in 2019 as a result of external migration. In addition, births exceeded deaths by 18 thousand. Natural population growth was therefore 3 thousand higher than in 2018.

Half of immigrants from within Europe

Of all immigrants who settled in the Netherlands in 2019, almost half came from within Europe (of whom 85 percent from another EU country). Eighteen percent of the immigrants came from Asia, with India and China accounting for the largest groups. For 2019, the number of asylum migrants is estimated at 16 thousand, i.e. nearly 6 percent of total immigration.

In 2019, immigration from all continents showed a year-on-year increase, on balance. The same applied to native Dutch remigrants. Consistent with the previous year, 35 thousand native Dutch people returned to the Netherlands, while the number of native Dutch emigrants declined by 3 thousand to a total of 39 thousand.

Migration balance by country of birth (x 1,000)
JaarNetherlandsEuropeAsiaAfricaAmericas
1999-10.116.114.48.911.1
2000-12.823.017.411.814.4
2001-15.622.817.713.912.1
2002-21.814.511.312.97.4
2003-25.710.17.54.13.6
2004-27.87.64.0-1.01.0
2005-33.67.72.1-3.0-0.7
2006-35.87.41.4-3.5-0.7
2007-31.120.04.6-0.61.4
2008-23.830.010.64.14.8
2009-11.123.58.88.44.9
2010-12.227.27.45.55.2
2011-16.529.58.54.14.2
2012-16.720.96.50.92.3
2013-16.020.98.43.91.9
2014-16.826.815.85.73.5
2015-15.527.330.47.65.3
2016-12.332.744.88.35.7
2017-9.240.431.28.49.9
2018-7.346.922.811.112.9
2019*-5.061.328.912.916.0
*forecast

Growth rate relatively high

The current population increase is the highest since the beginning of this century. The last time the Netherlands recorded a similar growth rate was in 1975, when Suriname gained independence from the Netherlands. In that year, around half of the population growth was due to net migration. In 2019, this was more than 85 percent. Since 2015, the migration balance has remained at a record level while natural population growth has been at its lowest level in this century.

Development of the Dutch population (x 1,000)
JaarTotal population growthNatural growthMigration balance
1999103.760.040.4
2000123.166.153.9
2001118.262.250.8
200287.359.724.3
200365.558.4-0.3
200447.557.5-16.2
200528.751.5-27.4
200623.849.7-31.3
200747.448.3-5.8
200880.449.525.7
200989.250.734.5
201080.848.333.1
201174.544.329.8
201249.235.113.9
201349.730.119.1
201471.436.035.1
201578.423.455.1
2016102.423.579.2
201799.619.680.7
2018101.115.286.4
2019*132.418.2114.3
*forecast

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