Population up by 12.8 thousand in Q1 2021

© Hollandse Hoogte / Frank Muller / Zorginbeeld
In Q1 2021, the population of the Netherlands grew by 12.8 thousand. This is 2.7 thousand down on the same period last year. Population growth due to external migration was lower in particular. There were more deaths, but the number of births was up as well. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of provisional figures.

In the first three months of 2021, 48.2 thousand immigrants registered with a Dutch municipality. At the same time, 32.5 thousand emigrants moved abroad. As a result, on balance 15.6 thousand new inhabitants were added due to external migration, versus more than 18 thousand one year previously. Just as in Q1 2020, deaths exceeded births by 2.8 thousand.

Population dynamics, Q1
 2018 (x 1,000)2019 (x 1,000)2020* (x 1,000)2021* (x 1,000)
Live births39.839.940.442.2
Population growth1223.515.512.8
* Provisional figure.

More deaths, more live births

In Q1 2021, the number of deaths was higher than in the same quarter last year. Especially in January during the second wave of coronavirus, mortality was relatively high and there were more deaths than expected. The number then declined, mainly among the over-80s. In 2020, mortality started to rise in the second half of March and more deaths were recorded mainly in April.

At the same time, more children were born in February and March 2021 compared to previous years. This resulted in a natural decrease similar to last year. The birth rate has been relatively low for a number of years.

Live births and deaths
   2018 (x 1,000)2019 (x 1,000)2020* (x 1,000)2021* (x 1,000)
Live birthsJan14.114.21413.9
Live birthsFeb12.312.112.913.4
Live birthsMar13.413.513.514.9
* Provisional figure.

Less external migration

Both immigration and emigration were down in Q1 2021 year-on-year. In December, travel restrictions were introduced due to COVID-19. On balance, the number of migrants settling in the Netherlands decreased. This decline was relatively smallest among EU migrants. The number of Central and Eastern European migrants increased compared to last year. This group saw a less substantial decline in immigration than in emigration.

Net migration by migration background, Q1
Migratiesaldo2018 (x 1,000)2019 (x 1,000)2020* (x 1,000)2021* (x 1,000)
European Union 1)6.996.56
Other countries11.815.71210
* Provisional figure. 1) European Union excluding the United Kingdom.

Poles and Syrians form the largest migrant groups

Just as in previous years, immigrants with a Polish background constitute the largest group. On balance, 2.5 thousand Polish nationals settled in the Netherlands in the first quarter, against nearly 2 thousand one year previously. Syrian migrants form the second largest group. The number of immigrants registering with a Dutch municipality in this group was more than twice as high as in Q1 2020, when Indians still formed the second largest group. In the Indian group, the number of immigrants was lower in particular, while the number of emigrants remained virtually unchanged.

Net migration, top five origin countries 1), Q1
Soviet Union
* Provisional figure. 1) In Q1 2020.