Immigration boosts Dutch population to 17.4 million as 2020 gets underway

People on King's Day in Urk
A group of people celebrating King's Day in Urk, Flevoland. April 26, 2014kruwtDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

A substantial increase in people relocating to the Netherlands pushed the population of the country to 17.4 million people by the end of 2019, the largest population growth in the country since the beginning of the century. Roughly 272,200 people moved to the Netherlands last year, while 157,900 moved out of the country.

The figures, released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on Friday, show an 11.7 percent increase in immigration, while emigration was largely flat. Nearly half of new immigrants came from Europe, primarily from other European Union nations. Some 18 percent of new migrants came from Asia, mainly from China and India, the CBS said.

Approximately 16 thousand people came to the Netherlands as asylum seekers last year, representing six percent of all immigrants.

There were 169,900 children born last year, a one percent increase over 2018, while deaths fell by one percent to 151,700.  Overall, the population increase of 132 thousand inhabitants was 31 thousand more than a year earlier.

"The last time the population grew at a similar rate was in 1975, at the time of Suriname's independence," the CBS said. "In 1975 about half of the growth came from foreign migration, in 2019 it was more than 85 percent."

By 2024, the population in the Netherlands is expected to top 18 million. The total populace will be boosted by another million people around 2039. By 2060, the Netherlands can count on housing roughly 19.6 million in total.

Population growth in the country was already level with last year's total by September. This was primarily due to an increase in immigration and a decrease in people emigrating.