70,000 southern Europeans live in the Netherlands

Some 70,000 people from Portugal, Greece, Spain and Italy now live in the Netherlands, up from almost 25,000 at the turn of the century, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

One in seven live in Amsterdam, but Rotterdam and The Hague are also popular places to live. In addition, student cities like Delft, Wageningen and Groningen have significant southern European communities, the CBS said.

The population of the Zeeland town of Reimerswaal, which has 22,000 residents, has seen its Portuguese population rise 3,000% from seven to 218 over the past 12 years.

According to a council spokesman, they have been attracted by the local mussel farming industry. ‘We are now at a maximum,’ he said.