Dutch population grew twice as fast in 2022 as 2021, entirely due to immigration
The Dutch population grew almost twice as fast in 2022 as a year earlier, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports based on figures up to December 1 and an estimate from the last month. There was an increase of 227,000 inhabitants, compared to 115,000 in 2021, according to the statistics office. With this growth, the number of inhabitants in the Netherlands stands at 17.8 million.
In 2022, about 168,000 children were born, a reduction of over 11,000 from 2021 figures. About 169,000 people died last year. As a result, birth and death rates have remained about the same, so that population growth can be fully attributed to foreign immigration.
A relatively high number of immigrants were registered last year, when about 402,000 people moved to the Netherlands. That is 150,000 more than in 2021. In every municipality the number of immigrants was higher than the number of emigrants.
The larger cities in the Netherlands grew the fastest. Eindhoven and Almere had the strongest growth with 22 new people per thousand inhabitants. Of the major cities, only Rotterdam and Breda were slightly below the national average. The data does show that more people emigrated out of the Netherlands than moved to the Netherlands in the major cities, especially in the Randstad, but also Groningen and Eindhoven.
Seven municipalities showed a per capita increase above 30 new inhabitants per thousand, where the national average was 13 per thousand. The seven municipalities include the Noordoostpolder, Waddinxveen, Diemen, Maassluis, Woudenberg and the islands of Vlieland and Schiermonnikoog.
The number of inhabitants decreased in only nine of the 344 municipalities, which is less than in previous years. In 2020, the population fell in 61 municipalities. These municipalities were mainly located at the perimeter of the Netherlands, such as the coastal areas, or at the borders with Belgium and Germany.
About 100,000 of the immigrants arrived from Ukraine after the Russian invasion in February. Some 89,000 of them have registered with a Dutch municipality since February. Many Ukrainians have also left the Netherlands, mainly back to Ukraine.
After Ukraine, the most immigrants who settled in the Netherlands arrived from Syria, followed by Turkey, India and Poland.
Without immigration, many municipalities would have experienced a contraction: 62 percent of them had a mortality rate that was higher than the birth rate. That figure was 53 percent in 2021, and the number has risen sharply in twenty years. In 2002, just 13 municipalities reported a death rate that outpaced new births.
Since then, the number of municipalities has also decreased, because many municipalities have merged. The municipalities where more babies are born than people die are mainly in Flevoland, the Randstad region, and in and around Zwolle.
Flevoland is the province where the population is growing the fastest, followed by Noord-Holland, Zuid-Holland and Utrecht. The growth in Flevoland was 22 new people per thousand inhabitants. In Noord-Holland it was sixteen per thousand inhabitants and in Zuid-Holland and Utrecht it was thirteen per thousand inhabitants. In Flevoland, the population grew because more people were born than died, because of domestic relocations, and also foreign immigration. In both Noord- and Zuid-Holland, on the other hand, there were more people who moved away from these provinces to other parts of the Netherlands.
The difference between Zuid-Holland and Utrecht and the other provinces is not significant. Zeeland was at twelve new people per thousand inhabitants, Gelderland, Overijssel and Groningen at eleven, Limburg, Friesland and Drenthe closed the list with nine new residents per thousand inhabitants.
Reporting by ANP