More than 200,000 people from other European Union countries have moved to the Netherlands since 2007, bringing the total to 639,000 at the end of last year.
Polish nationals are the largest group, with 180,000 Poles now living in the Netherlands. Germans form the second biggest expat group (125,000) followed by the Belgians (50,000) and British (below 50,000).
Six out of 10 EU migrants have a job – a figure which has been stable for years – although this rises to 75% among people from central and eastern Europe, the national statistics office CBS said. The rest are either students, non-working partners, or claiming mainly work-related benefits.
The number of EU nationals has grown by 47% since 2007 and now makes up 3.8% of the population of the Netherlands.
Claims by populist parties that EU immigrants are engaging in benefit tourism are not born out by the figures.
In total, just 3% of social security benefit claims in the Netherlands are made by people from another EU country, the CBS said. Some 25,000 are claiming work-related unemployment benefit (ww), 15,000 have basic welfare benefits and nearly 13,000 some form of incapacity benefit (AO).
By law, EU citizens have no rights to welfare benefits in the three months after they arrive in the Netherlands.
Research by the CBS published in May showed nearly 500,000 Dutch nationals live in another EU country. Belgium and Germany have the largest populations.
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