Dutch population grows to 16.6 million

Dutch population grows to 16.6 million

The Dutch population has grown by 700,000 people to 16.6 million inhabitants during the first decade of the 21st century.

In no other country in the EU 27, the contribution of migration to population growth was so small as in the Netherlands, according to figures from the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics published Wednesday.

The Dutch population has grown from 15.9 to 16.6 million (4.5 percent) over the past decade. The growth rate is just above the average level for the EU 27. Unlike in adjacent countries, the population growth in the Netherlands is mainly due to natural growth: in the past decade, over half a million more people were born than died.

The contrast with Germany is quite obvious. Although German net migration is higher, the German population is shrinking.

During the past decade, the contribution of migration to population growth was relatively small. The contribution of emigration minus immigration was the smallest of all countries in the EU 27 showing population growth.

On average, migration accounted for 81 percent of the population growth in the EU 27 versus only 22 percent in the Netherlands. In Belgium (74 percent) and the United Kingdom (57 percent), the contribution of migration was much more substantial.

There were more people leaving than coming to the Netherlands in the period 2003-2007.

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