Immigration drives Dutch population growth

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The total population of the Netherlands increased by 35 thousand people in the first half of this year, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Monday. Like last year, immigration is still the driving force behind the population growth in the Netherlands.

During the first six months of this year about 100 thousand immigrants settled in the Netherlands, about the same as in the same period in 2016. A total of 69 thousand people emigrated away from the Netherlands. The migration balance is therefore 31 thousand, approximately the same as a year ago. 

Most immigrants came from Asia, followed by Europe, just like last year. The number of Asian immigrants dropped from 19,500 in the first half of 2016 to 15 thousand this year. The number of immigrants from other European countries increased from 8,500 to 12 thousand. Among the European immigrants, particularly the number of people from newer EU states like Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia and Lithuania increased.

The number of new asylum seekers decreased. Nearly 11 thousand Syrians applied for asylum in the Netherlands for the first time in the first half of this year, compared to 15 thousand in the first half of 2016. 

In the first half of this year a total of 82 thousand babies were born in the Netherlands and 78 thousand people died. Therefore natural accumulation added 4 thousand people to the Netherlands population. In the first half of last year, natural accumulation added 8 thousand people to the population.