55 thousand more inhabitants in first half of 2023

© ANP / Robin Utrecht
The population of the Netherlands grew by 54.8 thousand in the first half of 2023. One year previously, the increase still amounted to 119.2 thousand. The lower population growth in 2023 is mainly related to a declining number of Ukrainian immigrants. This is evident from provisional figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Population growth, first six months
Categorie2019 (x 1,000)2020 (x 1,000)2021 (x 1,000)2022 (x 1,000)2023* (x 1,000)
Total population growth45.818.232.5119.254.8
*Provisional figures.

Total population growth also declined because there were 6.2 thousand more deaths than births. The mortality surplus is larger than in the same period last year. Whereas mortality was relatively high, fewer children were born in proportion.

Less influx from Ukraine

On balance, external migration (immigration minus emigration) stood at 61 thousand, i.e. half of the total in the first half of 2022. Immigration declined, while emigration increased somewhat. The immigration decline was due to a lower influx of Ukrainian refugees. In the first half of 2022, the number of Ukrainian immigrants still stood at over 73 thousand on balance. This year, there were 7.5 thousand. As at 1 July, altogether 101 thousand Ukrainian migrants resided in the Netherlands who arrived after the start of the war.

Population dynamics, first six months
JaartalNatural population increase (x 1,000)Net migration (x 1,000)Net migration Ukrainian refugees (x 1,000)
* Provisional figures.

External migration from Asia and Europe virtually unchanged

In most migrant groups (not including former Soviet countries such as Ukraine), growth due to external migration was similar to last year in the first half of 2023. Both immigration and emigration show a modest increase this year. Only the group of African-born migrants has declined (-11.6 percent).As of 2023, the majority of immigrants are Europeans. Given the relatively high emigration among Europeans, however, net migration from Asia is higher on balance. Apart from the group born in former Soviet countries, the largest migrant groups on balance were Syrians (8.7 thousand), Turkish (5.1 thousand), Polish (4.5 thousand) and Indians (4.2 thousand).

Net migration by country/continent of birth, first six months
Herkomstgroep2023* (x 1,000)2022 (x 1,000)2021 (x 1,000)2020 (x 1,000)2019 (x 1,000)
Americas and Oceania6.
Former Soviet Union11.
*Provisional figures. 1) Incl. Netherlands-born, or born abroad but both parents Netherlands-born. 2) Excl. Netherlands, Turkey and former Soviet Union. 3) Incl. Turkey.

High mortality, increasingly few births

In the first half of 2023, altogether 80 thousand children were born and 86.2 people died. The natural population change (births minus deaths) is thus negative at -6.2 thousand.
This is less than in the first half of 2022, but also lower than in 2020, when mortality wsa relatively high due to the coronavirus pandemic (-4.6 thousand). The number of deaths over the first six months is comparable to 2020, but the number of live births is lower. This results in lower negative population growth. Mortality is higher than expected, With excess mortality over several weeks. In June, excess mortality coincided with higher than average temperatures.