Statistics Netherlands reviews the year 2023

In 2023, just as in 2022, there was excess mortality in the Netherlands, meaning there were more deaths than births. Population growth was due to external migration, despite a decreasing influx of Ukrainians. Energy prices rose less rapidly than last year and the economy entered a mild recession. Furthermore, this year saw again a share of teenagers and young adults who were struggling mentally. Trust in Parliament reached an all-time low at the end of 2022. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on figures that were released over the course of 2023.

The Dutch population increased to 17.9 million as at September 2023. This was due entirely to external migration, as there was negative natural increase. This was for the first time since the census was introduced in 1900. In the period January to September 2023 inclusive, a total of 123.4 thousand live births and 124.3 thousand deaths were recorded.

Natural increase, January to September inclusive
JaarNatural increase (x 1,000)
201036.3
201135.9
201228.0
201322.7
201429.5
201517.2
201620.3
201715.2
201811.5
201915.7
20205.0
202112.8
20222.8
2023*-0.9
*Provisional figures

Population growth due to external migration

Due to a positive net migration rate (immigration minus emigration), the population of the Netherlands grew by 113 thousand. A total of 145 thousand people emigrated while 257 thousand settled here, including over 12 thousand refugees from Ukraine. In 2022, there were still 85 thousand immigrants from Ukraine.

Net migration, January to September inclusive
JaarOther net migration (x 1,000)Net migration of Ukrainian refugees (x 1,000)
201027.5
201127.4
201214.2
201317.8
201428.7
201539.6
201663.1
201765.7
201867.2
201987.5
202052.7
202180.1
2022102.585.5
2023*99.412.2
*Provisional figures

Young people’s mental health not completely recovered since the pandemic

During the coronavirus pandemic, many teenagers and young adults were suffering from mental health problems. By no means everyone has recovered from these complaints. Last year, 22 percent of Dutch 12 to 24-year-olds said they had trouble sleeping in the two weeks prior to the survey; in addition, 16 percent reported suffering from psychological complaints in the preceding four weeks; and finally, 12 percent said they suffered or had suffered from a depression in the past twelve months.

Mental health aspects among 12 to 24-year-olds
klacht2022 (%)2021 (%)2020 (%)2019 (%)2018 (%)2017 (%)
Sleeping problems22.319.418.114.414.014.2
Affected by sleeping problems10.89.77.35.25.45.0
Mental health issues (MIH-5)16.218.010.910.79.78.3
Depression12.410.17.46.48.15.4
Contact psychologist/
psychiatrist/
psychotherapist
14.113.511.112.912.110.7

28.2 billion euros in student debt

At the start of 2023, the total amount borrowed by former and current students in the Netherlands stood at 28.2 billion euros; this was 1.7 billion more than in 2022. On average, each person with a student debt owed 17 thousand euros. In the age group 25 to 29 years, the average student debt amounted to 23 thousand euros.

Average student debt among the population with a student debt, 1 January
JaarTotal student debt (1,000 euros)
201112.6
201211.8
201311.9
201412.2
201512.4
201612.3
201712.4
201812.9
201914.4
202015.3
202115.5
2022*16.4
2023*17.1
*Provisional figures

More and more female crime suspects

2022 saw a rising number of young female crime suspects. More than a quarter of crime suspects aged between 12 and 18 were girls. The share of girls in this group was never this large. In 2022, a total of 17.5 thousand boys and girls aged 12 to 17 years were registered crime suspects, representing 1.4 percent of all 12 to 17-year-old residents.

Crime suspects aged 12 to 17 years
 Boys (per thousand 12 tot 17-year-olds in the total population)Girls (per thousand 12 tot 17-year-olds in the total population)
2015288
2016268
2017237
2018216
2019247
2020215
2021*205
2022*218
*Provisional figures

Lowest trust in Parliament since 2012

Trust in politics and in Parliament (the House of Representatives) declined to a record low in 2022. Only 30 percent of the Dutch population aged 15 years and over said they had faith in the House of Representatives. This is the lowest level since 2012, when the survey was conducted for the first time. Trust in politicians also declined. On the other hand, confidence in the judiciary, the police and health providers grew and stood at over 75 percent.

Trust
 Trust in politicians (% of the population aged 15 and over)Trust in parliament (% of the population aged 15 and over)
201236.3
201331.5
201434.6
201534.4
201627.536.8
201731.640.8
201832.142.0
201930.040.0
202039.753.2
202133.342.3
202223.830.4

Highest traffic death toll since 2008

In 2022, traffic accidents killed 745 people, 163 more than in the previous year and the highest number of road fatalities since 2008. The sharpest rise in traffic mortality was seen among people aged 75 and over: just under 60 percent increase relative to 2021. This was mainly due to more fatal cycling accidents in this age group: 148 in 2022, up from 94 in the previous year.

Traffic deaths in car and bicycle accidents
JaarBicycleCar
1996239609
1997264591
1998212603
1999227587
2000233543
2001225504
2002195503
2003219496
2004180420
2005181356
2006216340
2007189317
2008181317
2009185296
2010162246
2011200231
2012200232
2013184193
2014185187
2015185224
2016189231
2017206201
2018228233
2019203237
2020229195
2021207175
2022*290221
*Provisional figures

Mild economic recession

The economy contracted over three consecutive quarters of 2023, making recession a fact. Nevertheless, this situation cannot be compared with the severe contraction during the coronavirus crisis or the credit crisis. In Q3 2023, the volume of gross domestic product (GDP) showed 0.2 percent contraction relative to the previous quarter, while in Q1 and Q2 it contracted by 0.5 and 0.4 percent respectively. The current economic situation is referred to as a ‘mild recession’.

Gross domestic product, seasonally adjusted
JaarKwartaalIndex (2015=100)
2017Q1104.0
2017Q2104.9
2017Q3105.6
2017Q4106.4
2018Q1106.9
2018Q2107.6
2018Q3107.8
2018Q4108.3
2019Q1109.2
2019Q2109.5
2019Q3109.7
2019Q4110.4
2020Q1108.9
2020Q299.8
2020Q3106.2
2020Q4106.8
2021Q1108.1
2021Q2111.4
2021Q3113.7
2021Q4114.5
2022Q1115.1
2022Q2117.1
2022Q3117.2
2022Q4118.1
2023Q1117.5
2023Q2117.0
2023Q3116.8

4.1 percent inflation, versus 10.0 percent in 2022

Inflation went into the double digits in 2022, but levelled off in 2023. Up to November 2023 inclusive, inflation was 4.1 percent on average, against 10.0 percent one year previously. The highest inflation this year was in the prices of products, such as groceries. Excluding energy, the inflation rate over the period up to and including November was 6.8 percent. This was 4.9 percent one year previously.

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) switched to a new measuring method to track the development of energy prices, involving the measurement of actual prices paid instead of only the rates in new energy contracts. Had this method been applied before, inflation up to November 2022 would have been lower, and after that, higher instead. However, the discrepancy is becoming increasingly small, and as of June 2024 there will no longer be any discrepancy.

Inflation rate
jaarmaandInflation (year-on-year % change in the CPI)Inflation excl. energy and motor fuels (year-on-year % change in the CPI)
2018Jan1.51.2
2018Feb1.21.0
2018Mar1.00.8
2018Apr1.10.8
2018May1.71.2
2018June1.71.1
2018July2.11.4
2018Aug2.11.4
2018Sep1.91.2
2018Oct2.11.5
2018Nov2.01.6
2018Dec2.01.6
2019Jan2.21.7
2019Feb2.62.0
2019Mar2.82.2
2019Apr2.92.2
2019May2.41.8
2019June2.72.2
2019July2.52.3
2019Aug2.82.7
2019Sep2.62.5
2019Oct2.72.6
2019Nov2.62.3
2019Dec2.72.3
2020Jan1.82.1
2020Feb1.62.0
2020Mar1.42.2
2020Apr1.22.3
2020May1.22.4
2020June1.62.6
2020July1.72.6
2020Aug0.71.5
2020Sep1.11.9
2020Oct1.22.1
2020Nov0.81.7
2020Dec1.01.8
2021Jan1.62.1
2021Feb1.82.0
2021Mar1.91.7
2021Apr1.91.3
2021May2.11.5
2021June2.01.4
2021July1.40.5
2021Aug2.41.5
2021Sep2.71.5
2021Oct3.41.6
2021Nov5.22.3
2021Dec5.72.4
2022Jan6.42.7
2022Feb6.22.9
2022Mar9.73.1
2022Apr9.64.1
2022May8.84.4
2022June8.64.7
2022July10.35.7
2022Aug12.06.0
2022Sep14.56.5
2022Oct14.36.9
2022Nov9.96.8
2022Dec9.67.5
2023Jan7.67.7
2023Feb8.08.1
2023Mar4.48.1
2023Apr5.27.8
2023May6.17.9
2023June5.77.2
2023July4.66.8
2023Aug3.06.4
2023Sep0.25.5
2023Oct-0.45.1

Consumption slightly exceeds pre-pandemic level

Consumption levels in the Netherlands were restored quickly after the coronavirus crisis. In Q3 2022, per capita consumption had returned to its pre-pandemic level and then rose to a record high as of Q4 2022. It contracted in the first few quarters of 2023, but despite the large price increases, households still spent slightly more than in pre-pandemic years.

Consumer expenditure per inhabitant (seasonally adjusted, volume)
JaarKwartaalConsumer expenditure (1,000 euros)
20151e kwartaal4.576
20152e kwartaal4.600
20153e kwartaal4.584
20154e kwartaal4.588
20161e kwartaal4.592
20162e kwartaal4.584
20163e kwartaal4.611
20164e kwartaal4.659
20171e kwartaal4.645
20172e kwartaal4.678
20173e kwartaal4.710
20174e kwartaal4.699
20181e kwartaal4.755
20182e kwartaal4.769
20183e kwartaal4.747
20184e kwartaal4.754
20191e kwartaal4.757
20192e kwartaal4.776
20193e kwartaal4.745
20194e kwartaal4.783
20201e kwartaal4.667
20202e kwartaal4.144
20203e kwartaal4.483
20204e kwartaal4.469
2021*1e kwartaal4.302
2021*2e kwartaal4.583
2021*3e kwartaal4.773
2021*4e kwartaal4.781
2022*1e kwartaal4.804
2022*2e kwartaal4.848
2022*3e kwartaal4.852
2022*4e kwartaal4.922
2023*1e kwartaal4.902
2023*2e kwartaal4.816
*Provisional figures

Hourly wages increased by over 6 percent

In Q3 2023, collective wage rates (CAO wages) per hour including special remunerations rose by 6.2 percent; the highest increase in four decades. Contractual wage costs (i.e., CAO wages and employer contributions) went up by 6.0 percent in Q3. Of the three distinct sectors, the public sector saw the largest increase in CAO wages, namely 7.6 percent. Wages at private enterprises and subsidised institutions rose by 6.1 and 5.3 percent, respectively. The strong increase in CAO wages was a response to the high inflation in 2022.

Collectively agreed (CAO) wages and contractual wage costs
JaarKwartaalCAO wages incl. special remunerations (year-on-year % change)Contractual wage costs per hour (year-on-year % change)
2016Q21.82
2016Q322.1
2016Q41.81.9
2017Q11.31.7
2017Q21.31.7
2017Q31.41.9
2017Q41.52
2018Q11.82.3
2018Q21.82.3
2018Q32.12.6
2018Q42.22.7
2019Q12.32.8
2019Q22.63.2
2019Q32.73.1
2019Q42.83.2
2020Q132.9
2020Q22.82.7
2020Q333
2020Q42.82.8
2021Q12.32.8
2021Q22.22.7
2021Q31.91.5
2021Q41.91
2022Q12.72.4
2022Q23.12.9
2022Q33.64.4
2022Q43.75
2023Q15.55.3
2023Q25.75.6
2023Q36.26

Lowest-ever share of households at risk of poverty

In 2022, the government decided to compensate for surging energy costs by means of an energy allowance. This was found to have a positive effect on the at-risk-of-poverty rate. In 2022, 3.8 percent of the population were at risk of poverty, i.e., living in households with incomes below the low-income threshold. It was the lowest rate since 1977, when household income was measured for the first time. The poverty risk applied to a total of 637 thousand people, which was again the lowest number recorded since 1977. The energy allowance and other income support measures contributed to the rapid decline in 2022. If the income effects of these measures are not taken into account, the number of people at risk of poverty would be 989 thousand.

114 job vacancies per 100 unemployed

Labour market tension decreased slightly in 2023, but remained high. Q3 2023 was the fifth consecutive quarter with fewer job vacancies than in the previous quarter. There were 416 thousand unfilled job vacancies at the end of September, 12 thousand less than at the end of Q2, but nevertheless still 114 job vacancies per 100 unemployed. At the end of Q3, the number of job vacancies had exceeded the number of unemployed for two consecutive years.

Labour market tension
Jaar KwartaalTension (job vacancies per 100 unemployed)
2013Q114
2013Q212
2013Q312
2013Q412
2014Q113
2014Q214
2014Q315
2014Q416
2015Q117
2015Q218
2015Q319
2015Q420
2016Q122
2016Q223
2016Q326
2016Q428
2017Q132
2017Q236
2017Q340
2017Q445
2018Q150
2018Q254
2018Q357
2018Q460
2019Q166
2019Q268
2019Q366
2019Q467
2020Q156
2020Q243
2020Q341
2020Q445
2021Q156
2021Q278
2021Q393
2021Q4106
2022Q1134
2022Q2142
2022Q3120
2022Q4122
2023Q1122
2023Q2122
2023Q3114