Dutch population rises to 17.47 million; Growth slows with pandemic
The population of the Netherlands grew to 17.47 million people towards the end of 2020, roughly 63.1 thousand more inhabitants than a year ago. The increase was less than half what it was in 2019.
“The first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, in particular, had a major effect on population growth,” Statistics Netherlands (CBS) said. There were more deaths than births at that time and immigration hit a standstill. “The number of deaths increased again in the fourth quarter.”
About 58.8 thousand more people immigrated to the Netherlands than emigrated from it. Thus, the ten largest cities in the Netherlands added far fewer residents than expected. Amsterdam and Breda remaining relatively flat, and the population of Nijmegen even contracted slightly.
Of the 355 municipalities in the country, Almere gained the most inhabitants. Nijmegen was one of 65 municipalities to show a decrease in residents. “Not only did fewer labor migrants arrive, but also fewer international students,” the CBS said.
Natural population growth was also the lowest in the Netherlands in at least ten years, with the country on balance adding 4,300 people. “In Almere, which is mainly growing due to natural growth (births minus deaths) and domestic relocations, population growth was more stable,” the CBS stated.
The natural population growth was negative in 62 percent of all Dutch municipalities. “This was mainly caused by the excess mortality due to coronavirus.”
Noord-Brabant cities were hit particularly hard during the first wave of coronavirus infections. Also the coastal areas, northern provinces, Gelderland, Limburg Zeeland and parts of Overijssel all have “a relatively large number of elderly people and few women of childbearing age living there.”