British fleeing Brexit helps boost Netherlands immigration increase

Crowded train station in the Netherlands
Crowded train station in the NetherlandsPhoto: Iijjccoo / Wikimedia Commons

The Dutch population grew by 46 thousand people in the first half of this year, mainly due to immigration, Statistics Netherlands reported on Wednesday. The number of British people moving to the Netherlands more than doubled compared to the same period last year. This likely has to do with the United Kingdom's imminent departure from the European Union.

In the first half of this year, nearly 82 thousand babies were born in the Netherlands and over 77 thousand people died. This brought the natural population increase to nearly 5 thousand. In the first half of last year the natural increase was 1 thousand, because the number of deaths was higher at 81 thousand.

In the first half of 2019 nearly 113 thousand people moved to the Netherlands from abroad, compared to 101 thousand last year. The number emigrants increased less, from 70 thousand in the first six months of 2018 to 72 thousand in the first half of this year. Population growth due to foreign migration therefore amounted to 41 thousand, 10 thousand more than the same time last year. 

The number of migrants from other European countries saw the biggest increase, from 14 thousand on balance in the first half of 2018 to 21 thousand in the first half of 2019. The largest number of immigrants came from Poland. 5,600 Polish people settled in the Netherlands in the first half of this year, compared to 4,800 in the same period last year. The number of British immigrants more than doubled, from 600 last year to 1,400 this year. This most likely has to do with the Brexit. After multiple delays, the UK is scheduled to leave the EU end October.

The Netherlands also became home to more people from Asian and American descent. In the first half of 2019, a total of 10,100 Asian people registered with a Dutch municipality, compared to 7,700 in the same period last year. The number of American immigrants increased from 4,100 to 5,600. The number of immigrants from African countries remained relatively stable, increasing from 5,300 to 5,400. On balance fewer people moved to the Netherlands from Eritrea and Ethiopia, but more came from South Africa and Morocco. 

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