Population growth higher than expected in coming years
Researchers at Statistics Netherlands (CBS) expect that the population will temporarily grow faster in the coming years than previously thought. This is mainly because more children were born in the first half of this year, presumably due to the coronavirus lockdowns.
In 2025, the Netherland is expected to have nearly 18 million residents. That's over 100,000 more than the previous expectation.
Every year, CBS calculates how much the population is expected to grow by looking at trends in migration, deaths, and births. The coronavirus crisis forced CBS to adjust its earlier forecast.
The researchers previously expected that the number of births would increase in 2023 and 2024. They expected that the trend of women becoming mothers at a later age would stop by then. According to CBS sociologist Tanja Traag, it seems that the turnaround is coming a bit earlier, partly due to the coronavirus.
The deeper causes have not been investigated, but there are suspicions. "People thought it was good to start having children for all sorts of reasons," Traag expects. She mentioned, among other things, that working from home made it more practical to combine work and private life. "Perhaps more people also started to focus more on their family rather than on the wider world," the sociologist added.
The pandemic also caused more people to die in 2020 and 2021. CBS assumes that this is a temporary development that will have little effect on population growth in the long term. Due to the many travel restrictions, fewer migrants came to the Netherlands. At the same time, fewer people moved abroad. As a result, migration's contribution to population growth changed little on balance. The researchers expect that this development will also be temporary.
The statisticians revised their forecast for the number of households for the first time in years. They believe that the 9 million households line will be reached by 2038. Sooner than in the previous forecast. This is mainly due to the migration wave in the past decade. It was already expected that the number of households would increase, but that has now been calculated for the first time.
Reporting by ANP