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Daily Dutch News in English

Fewer people emigrating from the Netherlands

The number of native Dutch emigrants and the share of potential native Dutch emigrants have both declined since 2008. Those who want to leave the Netherlands often indicate that work is the main reason for their departure. Tranquillity, space and nature available in other countries are less often mentioned as a reason to leave the Netherlands. Statistics Netherlands announced today that young people seem keener to emigrate than older people and that their main motives are work and education.

The number of emigrants from the Netherlands has risen gradually since the turn of the century. Initially, emigration also increased among people with a native Dutch background but has fallen back to a structurally lower level since 2008. Since then, the number of native Dutch with emigration plans has also diminished. In 2008, 6 percent in the 18 to 62-year-old population indicated they wanted to settle abroad for a period of at least eight months, versus 4 percent in 2013.

Enthusiasm for emigration has waned across all age groups, but remains high among young native Dutch, of whom 7 percent indicate they have the intention to leave the country, versus 3 percent in the higher age categories. Younger people more often than older people think that emigration is a temporary project; 45 percent are certain to return to the Netherlands, as against more than 20 percent of older people. The number of potential emigrants is also relatively high among native Dutch men and high-educated people.

Work main motive for emigration
In 2013, work was the main motive for more than one in three native Dutch who considered emigration. One in six – predominantly older people – mention tranquillity, space, quietness or nature as their main motives to leave the country. For young people, on the other hand, work and education are the main considerations. Three in ten have other reasons. For 7 percent, weather conditions play a part and for 5 percent the challenge and the adventure implicit in emigration.

Although the reasons for departure in 2013 are not entirely similar to 2008, because the questions have changed, it is obvious that in 2013 work is much more often mentioned as the main reason for departure than in 2008. Tranquillity, space, quietness and nature, the tax burden and the feeling that the Netherlands is an overpopulated country are less often mentioned as the main reason.

More emigrants leave European continent
Native Dutch people mostly emigrated to other European countries. The most popular countries of destination are neighbouring countries Belgium and Germany, but the United States and Australia are also popular destinations. These destinations are also most often mentioned by potential emigrants. Compared to 2008, fewer people considered emigration to a country on the European continent in 2013.