Population up again in third quarter

© CBS / Nikki van Toorn
The population of the Netherlands grew by 39 thousand in Q3 2020. In Q2, during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, the number of inhabitants was still slightly down. The population grew less rapidly than one year previously, when 57 thousand inhabitants were added in the third quarter. This is evident from provisional figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

In Q3, the number of immigrants was 29.6 thousand higher than the number of emigrants. In addition, births exceeded deaths by 9.5 thousand. Natural population growth was still negative in the previous month, with more deaths than births. The migration balance was low.

A total of 54 thousand inhabitants were added during the first nine months of this year, just over half the number in the same period last year.

Population growth per quarter
ComponentPeriode2018 (x 1,000)2019 (x 1,000)2020* (x 1,000)
Natural
growth
Q1-5.8-0.6-2.8
Natural
growth
Q27.05.6-2.0
Natural
growth
Q310.410.79.5
Net
migration
Q117.924.218.3
Net
migration
Q213.016.71.4
Net
migration
Q336.346.729.6
Population
growth
Q112.023.515.5
Population
growth
Q220.022.3-0.6
Population
growth
Q346.757.439.1
* provisional figures

More migration, but lower levels compared to last year

The number of immigrants increased every month from June to September 2020, but was lower than last year. Usually, more people settle in the Netherlands in the summer months than in other months. In Q3, 74 thousand immigrants were registered, versus 97 thousand one year previously. The number of emigrants fell less sharply after the introduction of the coronavirus measures, but also remained lower in Q3 than in the same period last year: 45 thousand in 2020 against 50 thousand in 2019.

Immigration from the European Union declined less rapidly in Q2 and subsequently picked up faster than immigration of people with a non-EU background. In Q3 2020, net migration of both EU nationals and non-EU nationals stood at nearly 14 thousand. Last year, this balance amounted to 19 thousand (EU) and 27 thousand (non-EU).

In particular, the number of immigrants from Central and Eastern European countries, such as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, increased again soon after the relaxation of the COVID-19 measures. In September, this number was close to last year’s figure again. On balance, nearly 7 thousand immigrants from these countries were added in Q3, versus nearly 8 thousand in the same quarter last year.

Migration balance by migration background
   2018 (x 1,000)2019 (x 1,000)2020* (x 1,000)
EUI7.410.36.7
EUII4.45.10.2
EUIII16.019.113.9
Non-EUI11.214.311.8
Non-EUII8.411.1-1.0
Non-EUIII20.527.113.6
DutchI-0.8-0.5-0.2
DutchII0.20.42.2
DutchIII-0.10.52.1
* provisional figures

Fewer Dutch emigrants

Immediately after the introduction of the COVID-19 measures in the second half of March, a relatively large number of native Dutch citizens returned from abroad while the number of emigrants decreased. After the relaxation of the measures in June, more native Dutch residents left again, but their number was lower than in previous years. This means that up to and including September, on balance, more Dutch migrants arrived this year compared to last year.

Also slightly elevated mortality in Q3

In Q3, there was not only a lower migration balance relative to one year previously, but also a slightly lower balance of births (45.6 thousand) and deaths (36.1 thousand). This year, August was exceptionally warm and mortality was relatively high. September saw more deaths than last year as well. The number of live-born children was slightly lower.

Births and deaths per quarter
   2018 (x 1,000)2019 (x 1,000)2020* (x 1,000)
Live birthsQ139.839.940.4
Live birthsQ242.242.340.9
Live birthsQ345.446.145.6
DeathsQ145.640.543.2
DeathsQ235.236.743.0
DeathsQ335.035.436.1
* provisional figures

Sources

Related items