Fewer immigrants moved to the Netherlands last year, but that is mainly due to a drop in the number of arrivals from Ukraine, according to updated figures from national statistics office CBS.
The CBS expects the population to have grown by 140,000 people to 17.9 million by the end of December 2023. In 2022 the growth was 221,000 but that was driven upwards by Ukrainian refugees.
The increase is entirely down to immigration because fewer babies were born than people died. Women are now having an average of 1.43 children, which is lower than in the early 1980s when the birth rate had reached an all-time low, the CBS said.
There are now some 140,000 Ukrainians with refugee status living in the Netherlands, of whom 108,000 came in 2022. That means the Netherlands has 7.8 Ukrainian refugees per 1,000 locals, well below the European average of 9.3.
Most of the immigrants moving to the Netherlands – 59,300 – came from Europe.
Some 50,000 refugees and their family members arrived, according to IND figures published earlier. This is up some 2,000 on 2022 but well below government forecasts. Syrians and Turks dominated the refugee list.
The CBS said last month the population of the Netherlands will continue to grow in the coming years but less quickly than of late.
The population will hit 18 million next year and then 19 million by 2037, if current patterns continue, the CBS said. The growth will be largely down to immigration, but longer life expectancy will also have an impact. By 2040, some 25% of the population will be over the age of 65.
In total, 226,900 people moved to the Netherlands and 192,500 left in 2023, the CBS said.
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