Immigration to push Dutch population up to 19 million by 2039

Crowded train station in the Netherlands
Crowded train station in the NetherlandsIijjccooWikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

The Dutch population is expected to continue growing in the coming decades, largely due to immigration. In 2024 the population of the Netherlands is expected to cross the 18 million mark. The 19 million residents milestone will likely follow in 2039. By 2060, the Netherlands will count nearly 19.6 million residents, according to the latest forecast by Statistic Netherlands.

According to the forecast, the Netherlands population will grow by an average of 105 thousand people per year over the next decade. The largest part of the population growth can be attributed to migration. The stats office expects that until 2030 an average of 296 thousand people a year will immigrate to the Netherlands, while 214 thousand per year will emigrate away. That brings the migration balance to an average of 82 thousand new residents per year, 27 thousand more than in the period 2010 to 2019.

The next decade will also bring more births than deaths, Statistics Netherlands expects. The number of births will increase in the 2019 to 2030 period to an average of 185 thousand per year. Due to the aging population, mortality will also increase to an average of 163 thousand deaths per year. 

The number of Netherlands residents over the age of 80 is expected to increase from 800 thousand at the end of 2019 to 1.2 million in 2030, to 1.6 million in 2040, and to almost 2.1 million around 2053. After that a decrease is expected. The people in the age group 65 to 80 will increase from 2.6 million this year to nearly 3.3 million around 2038, after which a decrease is expected.

The proportion of Netherlands residents over the age of 65 will increase from the current 19 percent to almost 26 percent of the population around 2040. "The increase in the number of elderly people is due to both the post-war birth wave and the increased lifespan, which is forecast to increase further", the stats office said. 

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