According to new figures from the regional population and household forecast published by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Statistics Netherlands today, the population in the Randstad region continues its unabated growth.
Between 2010 and 2015, the population in the four Randstad provinces will increase by an expected 700 thousand, and the number of households will rise by more than 400 thousand. Outside these provinces, the population will grow mainly in cities with supra-regional facilities such as institutions of higher education. The increase may put more pressure on the housing market, as many municipalities, including those in growth regions, have postponed housing development plans because of the crisis.
Just as in the last fifteen years, the populations of the provinces North Holland, South Holland, Flevoland and Utrecht will grow by around 700 thousand between 2010 and 2025. Much of the population growth will be realised in the major cities: in Amsterdam, for example, the number of inhabitants will rise by 110 thousand.
Outside these provinces, the population is expected to grow much more slowly: at around 200 thousand more inhabitants between 2010 and 2025, the rate of growth is about half that in last fifteen years. The population will increase mainly around a number of cities with supra-regional provisions such as institutions of higher education; for example Groningen, Arnhem/Nijmegen, Zwolle and the city belt in Brabant.
While the population will continue to rise in a considerable part of the Netherlands, population decrease will also spread further, mainly in the peripheral areas of the Netherlands. One third of municipalities in the Netherlands will face reductions of 2.5 percent or more. The total decrease of the population in these municipalities to 2025 will amount to more than 180 thousand people. Four regions will experience a substantial fall in population numbers to 2025: the Achterhoek, Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, East Groningen and the Delfzijl region. The number of inhabitants in these regions will decrease by a total of 25 thousand in the next fifteen years.
Partly because of the economic crisis, many municipalities have postponed or even cancelled housing construction projects. This will make it more difficult for the extra number of households – around 800 thousand between 2010 and 2025 – to find somewhere to live. While the increase in the population will occur mainly in the Randstad, the growth in the number of households will be about the same within and outside this region. This is because the number of persons per household in falling faster outside the Randstad as a result of population ageing.
In the longer term, the Randstad population will continue to grow but more slowly. Between 2025 and 2040 the four provinces will experience a population growth of just under 400 thousand. In the rest of the country increase and decrease will probably balance each other out in this period. The peripheral regions expecting a population decrease in the next fifteen years – Limburg, North Drenthe and Southeast Drenthe, will lose another 100 thousand inhabitants together to 2040, while more people will live in the cities outside the Randstad. For the remaining regions, it is unclear whether the population will rise, decrease or stabilise in this period.