Flu epidemic slows Netherlands population growth

Flu_shot_preparations U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Philip A. McDaniel. Wikimedia commons

In the first half of this year the Netherlands population grew by 32 thousand people, compared to 35 thousand in the first half of last year. This slower growth can be attributed to the flu epidemic in the country in the first months of 2018, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday. The Netherlands currently has 17.2 million inhabitants.

In the first half of this year a total of 81 thousand people passed away and 82 thousand babies were born. The natural accretion therefore came to 1 thousand. In the first half of 2017 the national accretion was 4 thousand, the same number of births, but only 78 thousand deaths. 

Over 100 thousand immigrants registered with a Dutch municipality in the first half of this year, the same number as in the first half of 2017. The number of emigrants also remained the same at 69 thousand. The migration balance came out at 31 thousand. 

The slower population growth can therefore entirely be attributed to the higher number of deaths this year. The increase happened entirely in the first quarter, when there was a long lasting flu epidemic in the country. In the first quarter of 2018 a total of 45.5 thousand people died, 3 thousand more than the same period last year. The number of deaths especially increased among people over the age of 65.

In the second quarter 35 thousand people passed away, the same as a year earlier.