Friday 03 April 2020

12% of current Dutch population witnessed end of World War II

liberation of UtrechtAlmost 12% of the current Dutch population of nearly 17 million were alive at the time of the end of World War II 70 years ago, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday.

Almost two-thirds of them were over the age of five. The highest concentration of survivors live in Laren, Bergen and Rozendaal, where around 20% of the population are over the age of 70, the CBS said.

The lowest percentage – 6%- are in the fishing village of Urk and in the new town of Almere.

The CBS estimates that in 10 years’ time, around 5% of the population will have been alive during World War II. By 2045, when the centenary of the end of the war is celebrated, the CBS expects there will be 12,000 survivors in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands celebrates the end of World War II every May 5, which this year is a public holiday.

Events kick off in Wageningen – where the German capitulation was signed – and the Liberation flame is lit shortly before midnight.

Torches are then taken by runners, cyclists and inline skaters to other Liberation fires all over the country. There are also Liberation Day festivals, featuring top pop acts – one in each province and one in Amsterdam.

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