The number of immigrants coming to the Netherlands rose to 101,000 in 2006, up 10,000 on the preceding year, reported the government statistics office CBS on Monday. But although this is the first increase in four years, the numbers are not particularly high, the CBS said.
Dutch immigration reached record levels in 2000 and 2001 with 130,000 people coming to the country.
Almost one-quarter of those who came to the Netherlands last year were Dutch emigrants returning home. The second biggest group (8,000) were from Poland. In total 30,000 European citizens came to live in the Netherlands last year, 4,000 more than in 2005. The number of arrivals from the US was also up on the previous year.
Fewer people arrived from traditional immigrant countries such as Turkey, Morocco and Suriname and those that did come did so mainly to join family, the CBS said.
Last November, the CBS said that some 130,000 people were expected to leave the Netherlands in 2006 – making it the third year in a row that more people have left the country than moved here.
The CBS said then that by the end of the year, the Dutch population will have shrunk by 75,000 – the equivalent of a small town like Schiedam.
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