Most Poles and Bulgarians Leave

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Slightly less than half of Poles in the Netherlands and just over a quarter of Bulgarians think they will stay in the Netherlands. That is one of the conclusions of a report published on  Tuesday by the Social and Cultural Planning Office (SCP).

Most Poles (61 percent) who have registered in the Netherlands in the past eighteen months, liked better to be in their home country. Of the Bulgarians who migrated to the Netherlands, however 66% thinks that their lives have been improved. It is one of the many differences between the two groups, according to the report.

Understanding Dutch

Bulgarians hardly experience discrimination, work often as an independent contractor, but are on the other hand less likely to have a job and bother less to learn Dutch than their Polish fellow migrants. Both groups struggle to understand Dutch, two out of three can hardly follow the language. Both groups do often undervalued work.

This also applies to the educated Poles. Most Bulgarians are poorly educated. Especially the Turkish minority in Bulgaria has a low-level of education. About half of the Bulgarians in the Netherlands has a job. The Bulgarians who have work, often work few hours per week. The salary is a lot higher than in their home country.


Although the majority of migrants go back in time, the number of Poles and Bulgarians in the Netherlands is growing. There are now 111,000 Poles and 21,000 Bulgarians registered in the Netherlands.