Population rises even though deaths outstrip births in first three months

The population of the Netherlands rose by 12,500 in the first three months of this year, taking the total to over 17.2 million.

Some 6,000 more people died than babies were born in the first quarter, the statistics office CBS reported on Monday.

A total of 34,500 people died in the first three months of the year, some 2,000 more than in the year-earlier period when the death rate was also relatively high. The higher mortality rate this year was due to a long-term flu epidemic and several cold periods, the CBS said.

Live birth numbers totalled 39,600, just over 500 fewer than in the year-earlier period.

Deaths frequently outnumber births in the winter months, but this is reversed during the rest of the year, the CBS said. The CBS is projecting that the surplus of births over deaths will continue until 2038 when the number of deaths will surpass births.

The first quarter population increase is due to immigration.

A total of 53,000 immigrants arrived in the country while 35,000 people left. Poland and Syria were the countries of origin of the most new arrivals, the CBS said, while adding that the number of Syrian nationals coming to the Netherlands has fallen sharply.

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