Population growth down in first quarter of 2024

The population of the Netherlands grew by 19.8 thousand in Q1 2024. That was 7.6 thousand less than in the same period last year. This deceleration in the rate of increase was mainly due to a decline in immigration and a rise in emigration. The birth rate and death rate remained similar to the same period in 2023.

The Netherlands had a population of 17.97 million at the end of the first quarter. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of provisional figures.

Population change, Q1
Jaar2024* (x 1 000)2023* (x 1 000)2022 (x 1 000)2021 (x 1 000)2020 (x 1 000)
Live births40.039.040.442.340.5
Population growth19.827.450.613.316.7
* provisional figures

Net migration of 27 thousand, rate of natural increase was -7 thousand

In Q1 2024, 74.8 thousand people came to live in the Netherlands and 47.7 thousand left the country to live elsewhere. On balance, migration from abroad led to an increase of 27.1 thousand people, which was 8.0 thousand fewer than the increase seen in Q1 of 2023. This is because immigration declined by 5.7 thousand while emigration rose by 2.3 thousand.

There were 40.0 thousand live births and 47.2 thousand deaths, making the natural rate of population growth -7.2 thousand. That was a similar rate to last year. Both the number of live births (up by 1.0 thousand) and the number of deaths (up by 600) were slightly higher than in the same period last year.

Fewer migrants from Europe in particular

Net migration (immigration minus emigration) from European countries was lower than in the same period in 2023. This was partly because fewer refugees arrived from Ukraine, but net migration from almost all other European countries also fell. Net migration from outside Europe was also down in Q1 2024.

The majority of immigrants came from Europe, but because the number of Europeans who emigrated was also high, the majority of net immigration came from Asia.

The countries of origin where, on balance, the most migrants came from in Q1 2024 were Syria (5.7 thousand), Ukraine (3.6 thousand), Turkey (2.3 thousand), Poland (1.0 thousand) and Romania (1.0 thousand).

Net migration, by origin, Q1
Jaar2024* (x 1 000)2023* (x 1 000)2022 (x 1 000)
America and Oceania3.04.13.4
1)excluding the Netherlands * provisional figures

7 in 10 of those emigrating returned to country of birth

Of those who emigrated from the Netherlands in Q1 2024, we know which region of the world they departed for in the case of 40 thousand of them. Of those, 85 percent returned to the region of the world in which they were born and 69 percent returned to their country of birth. There are large differences between groups with different origins. Of those born in Europe (excluding those born in the Netherlands), 96 percent left for another European country; among those born in Africa, 50 percent returned to that continent. Those emigrating who were born in the Netherlands mainly stayed within Europe.

Destination of migrants, by country of birth 1), Q1 2024
Country of birth Destination Number
Netherlands Europe 6484,0
Netherlands Asia 1045,0
Netherlands America 1250,0
Netherlands Africa 373,0
Netherlands Oceania 352,0
Europe Europe 18443,0
Europe Asia 294,0
Europe America 440,0
Europe Africa 33,0
Europe Oceania 79,0
Asia Europe 1342,0
Asia Asia 4360,0
Asia America 231,0
Asia Africa 35,0
Asia Oceania 54,0
America Europe 927,0
America Asia 87,0
America America 2328,0
America Africa 18,0
America Oceania 27,0
Africa Europe 589,0
Africa Asia 47,0
Africa America 84,0
Africa Africa 742,0
Africa Oceania 23,0
Oceania Europe 51,0
Oceania Asia 10,0
Oceania America 7,0
Oceania Africa 1,0
Oceania Oceania 279,0
1) Migrants for whom the destination country is known