Non-Dutch make up 3.6% of Netherlands’ 13.5m EU voters

Ballot box in front of the European Union flag
Ballot box in front of the European Union flagPhoto: vepar5/DepositPhotos

Approximately 13.5 million residents of the Netherlands are eligible to vote in the European Parliament elections next week. 3.6 percent of this group do not have Dutch nationality, but are EU citizens, Statistics Netherlands reported on Friday based on population figures from 1 January 2019. 

The European elections will be held in the Netherlands for the ninth time on May 23rd. An estimated 96.9 percent of Netherlands residents are eligible to vote in this election, which is held every five years. Persons eligible to vote include both Dutch nationals and residents who do not have Dutch nationality, but who are nationals of one of the other EU Member States. 

There are almost half a million non-Dutch EU voters in the Netherlands. About 121,500 of this group are Polish. 14 percent are voters from Germany and 9 percent from the United Kingdom. Of the countries that recently joined the EU, the share of Romanian and Bulgarian voters in the Netherlands is highest after Poland, according to the stats office.

A little more than half of Netherlands residents entitled to vote this year are 50 years old or older. Slightly less than 8 percent can participate in the European elections for the first time, because they were not yet old enough the last time the election was held. 

According to the stats office, the enthusiasm for the European elections among Netherlands voters declined since the elections were first held in 1979. In 1979 the turnout was 58.1 percent. That dropped to 30 percent in 1999, and climbed back to 37.3 percent in 2014. This is still below the EU average of 42.6 percent turnout.