Amsterdam increasingly losing residents to the countryside
Amsterdam has been losing residents to the countryside since 2015, and the number of Amsterdammers leaving the city behind is increasing every year, Het Parool reported based on figures from realtors' association NVM and Statistics Netherlands. And it's mainly the middle-class that's leaving.
Earlier this week, NVM reported that home prices across the Netherlands increased by 11.6 percent last year. Hardenberg and Zutphen saw the biggest increases at over 20 percent, Amsterdam the lowest at just 3.4 percent. According to the NVM, this is line with the trend of more and more people leaving the Randstad behind for bigger homes in the eastern provinces. "This may indicate the increased importance of living space in work-from-home and corona time,' the association said.
The exodus is also reflected in Statistics Netherlands' population figures. In 2014, a total of 35,494 Amsterdammers left the city to live elsewhere in the country. That increased to 47,939 in 2019, up almost 40 percent in five years. Figures for 2020 are not in yet, but the expectation is that over 50 thousand Amsterdammers will have moved away.
It is especially the middle class leaving the city, according to Het Parool. In 2011 about 21 percent of Amsterdam residents had a mid-level income. Currently its about 17.9 percent, the newspaper wrote.
Pressure on the housing market is easing slightly, but it is still extremely expensive to live in Amsterdam. And relatively little Amsterdam housing is within the price range of mid-level residents. The current Amsterdam coalition of GroenLinks, D66 and SP put the construction of mid-level housing in their coalition agreement, but so far little has come from that, according to the newspaper.
A majority recently supported a proposal by city councilor Kevin Kreuger of JA21 for an investigation into how the middle class can be preserved in Amsterdam. Middle class workers don't only fulfill crucial professions in the city, but they also ensure diversity, he argued. Without them, Amsterdam would consist only of the rich and the struggling.