The population of the Netherlands grew by 15,500 in the first three months of this year, down around 50% on growth in the 2019 first quarter, according to new figures from national statistics agency CBS.
The higher death rate and a sharp drop in immigration are behind the decline, the CBS said.
While 59,000 people moved to the Netherlands from abroad in the first quarter of the year, 41,000 left the country and in March, more people left than arrived. This is ‘extremely unusual’ for the time of year, the CBS said.
The death rate also outstripped the number of live births by some 3,000.
The number of EU nationals in the Netherlands fell by nearly 5,000, with Poles accounting for some 2,000 of the decline. The size of the Indian community dropped by over 1,000, while more Dutch nationals returned home from abroad.
The CBS said it is still too early to say what the real impact of the coronavirus crisis will be on population growth, but that this should become clearer when the April figures are included.
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