Relatively few international knowledge migrants in Netherlands

Despite a significant increase in the number of international knowledge migrants in the Netherlands since 2003, these highly qualified people still make up only a small proportion of the Netherlands' workforce compared to other European countries, according to figures statistics Netherlands released on Monday. 

In the period 2003 to 2005, a total of 221 thousand highly qualified people from abroad worked in the Netherlands. Between 2016 and 2018, that increased to 383 thousand. International knowledge migrants then accounted for 4.2 percent of the work force in the Netherlands.

Despite this increase, the Netherlands is behind most of the other European countries Statistics Netherlands investigated. Only in Finland does international knowledge migrants make up a smaller proportion of the work force, at 2 percent. Luxembourg has the highest proportion of these highly educated migrants at 26 percent of its workforce, followed by Switzerland at 13 percent, and Ireland at 12 percent.

The majority of international knowledge migrants in the Netherlands work in the service sector. Over two thirds, 67 percent, work at a high employment level, for example as manager or engineer. On this front, the Netherlands is in third place after Luxembourg and Switzerland, where 88 percent and 77 percent of international knowledge migrants work at a high level. 

The Netherlands counts the highest proportion of international knowledge migrants who are self-employed. In our country, 20 percent of international knowledge migrants own their own business. The United Kingdom, France and Belgium are in joint second place at 16 percent.