Dutch population hits 17.2 million, boosted largely by immigration

The official population of the Netherlands rose 100,000 last year to reach 17.2 million at the beginning of this January, the national statistics office CBS said on Tuesday.

In total, some 233,000 ‘foreigners’ –  including refugees – moved to the Netherlands while 151,000 left, increasing the population by 82,000. In addition, 19,000 more babies were born than people died, the CBS said.

Of the total new arrivals, 16,000 were refugees from Syria, a drop of 10,000 on 2016. Some 10,000 people came from Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and other former eastern bloc countries. The Polish population increased by 8,500 to 120,000, the CBS said.

There was a 2,100 increase in British population, a 2,700 rise in the number of Italians living in the Netherlands and 2,400 more Germans.

By contrast, 23,000 Dutch nationals returned to the Netherlands and 26,000 left to live elsewhere.  The Somali population shrank by over 700.

Rural areas

While the population as whole increased, the population actually fell in 81 of the 388 local authority areas in the Netherlands, the CBS said.

Most of the areas affected by a shrinking population are in the border areas – particularly in the north and south.

The population of Amsterdam grew by 11,500 over the year, and the populations of The Hague, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Almere, Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Tilburg also grew significantly, the CBS said.

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