Higher population growth due to more immigration in Q1

In the first quarter of 2022, the population of the Netherlands increased by 49.8 thousand. This is considered strong growth for a first quarter; in the first three months of the peak year 2019, growth stood at 23.5 thousand. Immigration was high in particular. Almost 3 in 10 immigrants came from Ukraine. This is evident from provisional figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Population dynamics, Q1
 2022* (x 1,000)2022*, of which from Ukraine (x 1,000)2021* (x 1,000)2020 (x 1,000)2019 (x 1,000)
Population growth24.66725.08612.79816.67223.536
* provisional figures

Population growth due to immigration

The population increase in the first three months of this year was entirely on account of external migration. Altogether 87.6 thousand immigrants settled here, while 35.0 thousand emigrants left. On balance, 52.6 thousand new inhabitants were added due to external migration. This was still 15.6 thousand in the same quarter one year previously. Even when the immigrants from Ukraine (25.1 thousand) are not counted, this is relatively high immigration. The total number arriving from other countries was 1.1 thousand higher than in 2019. Immigration reached a record level in that year.

No natural increase

In the first quarter, no inhabitants were added due to natural increase: there were more deaths (43.1 thousand) than births (40.3 thousand). Natural population growth has been negative in each first quarter for the past five years. During those periods, relatively few children were born, while mortality tends to be higher during winter than at other times of the year.

Natural growth was also negative in the first quarter of 2021; although the number of births was relatively high (42.2 thousand), the number of deaths was higher (45.0 thousand). The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic ended in that first quarter.

Mainly more non-EU immigrants

In the first quarter, especially more immigrants from outside the European Union settled in the Netherlands compared to the same period last year. They included 25.1 thousand immigrants from Ukraine and 32.3 thousand from other countries. This is not only more than in the same period last year (22.1 thousand), but also more than in peak year 2019 (29.7 thousand). There were more immigrants from Asia in particular.

Not only was immigration higher than in 2021, but more emigrants left as well. Their number increased less rapidly than the number of immigrants. In particular, there were more emigrants born in the Netherlands or in an EU country. The number of non-EU emigrants was lower than in the same period last year.

After migrants with origins in former Soviet Union countries, Syrians formed the second largest group, followed by people from Turkey and India. On balance, these groups were responsible for the largest population increase. Poland occupied fifth place in the first quarter.

Migration by country of birth, Q1
 2022* (x 1,000)2021* (x 1,000)2020 (x 1,000)2019 (x 1,000)
EU 2)24.720.123.723.9
EU 2)14.913.716.714.5
*provisional figures 1)incl. born abroad from Dutch parents 2)EU excl. the United Kingdom