Amsterdammers want bigger homes, better neighbourhoods

A pro-farmers flag in Amsterdam. Photo:
A pro-farmers flag in Amsterdam. Photo:

Many of the tens of thousands of Amsterdammers who move away from the capital every year are doing so because homes are too small, they don’t like the neighbourhood they live in and are unhappy about the way people interact with each other, according to new research published by Rabobank.

In 2021, nearly 74,000 people left the Amsterdam metropolitan region. While people are used to making compromises because they live in a big city ‘housing is becoming more expensive and the disadvantages are beginning to outweigh the advantages,’ researchers Otto Raspe and Stefan Groot told the Parool.

The research shows that over the past few years more people moved out of Amsterdam to the regions than moved from the regions to the capital.

The city only continues to grow in size because of immigration from outside the Netherlands. ‘[Expats] are prepared to pay high rents and mortgages, but many of the original inhabitants are no longer willing to do so,’ the Rabobank researchers say.

In particular, people in their 30s are leaving the city when starting a family because they are looking for more room and more social cohesion.

‘We don’t want to end up with a city for elderly rich people,’ said Erik Versnel, director of Rabobank Amsterdam. ‘We too want an accessible and affordable housing market, and this research shows more is needed than simply building more and more homes.’

The population of Amsterdam grew by around 38,000 last year, including the 20,000 people living in the nearby town of Weesp, which is now part of the capital. Amsterdam now has a population of 921,000.

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