An increasing number of Dutch seem to be dissatisfied with their surname, with more and more people going through the administrative hassle and high costs to change it. Last year 2,057 surname changes were approved, compared to 1,269 in 2012, RTL Nieuws reports based on figures from the Justis Department.
Voter turnout was up substantially in the country's provincial election on Wednesday, compared with turnout in 2015. Some 57.9 percent of eligible voters showed up at polling places, up from 47.8 percent four years earlier, according to RTL Nieuws.
The ruling coalition that forms the Cabinet in The Netherlands was projected to lose seven seats and its majority in the Eerste Kamer, the upper house of Dutch parliament. Eerste Kamer relative newcomer Forum voor Democratie (FvD), a nationalist right wing party, was projected to secure ten seats in the Dutch Senate, and left wing GroenLinks was expected to take eight seats. There are 75 seats in the chamber, with the coalition currently holding 38 for a razor thin majority.
On Tuesday evening the 13 political party leaders responded to the shooting in Utrecht, in which three people were killed and three seriously injured, at the start of the last political debate before the Provincial States elections on Wednesday.
Dutch primary schools expect a significant increase in the number of children of expats in the coming years. While companies are rapidly taking on foreign tech experts and IT professionals, schools have to prepare for pupils who speak little or no Dutch, Trouw reports.
This issue is especially prevalent at primary schools in the Amsterdam region, Eindhoven and The Hague, according to the newspaper.
Dutch people often misjudge important facts about the Netherlands. The Dutch population's perception about immigration, unemployment and climate change figures, among others, is far wrong, according to the study Perils of Perception by Ipsos. The research agency interviewed citizens from 37 countries. In none of the countries did the citizens estimate figures correctly, RTL Nieuws reports.
Immigration is still the driving force behind the growth of the Dutch population. In the first three quarters of this year, the Dutch population grew by 81 thousand people, according to preliminary figures by Statistics Netherlands. Nearly 70 thousand of that growth was thanks to immigration. The rest was natural accrual - 11 thousand more babies were born than people died.
In the first half of this year the Netherlands population grew by 32 thousand people, compared to 35 thousand in the first half of last year. This slower growth can be attributed to the flu epidemic in the country in the first months of 2018, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday. The Netherlands currently has 17.2 million inhabitants.
The Dutch population will continue to grow in the coming decades to over 18.4 million people by 2060, according to the latest prognosis by Statistics Netherlands. The 18 millionth inhabitant is expected in 2031. By 2040 almost a quarter of the Dutch population will be elderly, and by 2060 just over a third will have their roots in the outside world, according to the stats office.
People in the Netherlands want the new Dutch government to give top priority to healthcare, according to social and cultural planning office SCP's quarterly survey of what Dutch think about the country. "45 percent of respondents put healthcare on number one", SCP spokesperson Josje den Ridder said to NOS.
The new Dutch cabinet - Rutte III - will have three more Ministers than the current one, according to the Telegraaf. That will bring the total number of Ministers up to 16.
According to the newspapers, the new Ministers will be for Immigration and Integration, Climate Affairs, and Agriculture. Exactly what these portfolios will hold, is still being negotiated in the formation talks between the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie.
The number of children in the Netherlands growing up in a family that receives welfare benefits increased by 2.1 percent to a total of 230 thousand last year, Statistics Netherlands reported on Friday. This number increased every year since 2012.
More than two thirds of children who lived on welfare last year had an immigration background. Half of this group fall under the "other non-western category", compared to 39 percent in 2012. In this category the stats office includes all non-western countries except Morocco, Suriname, Turkey, Aruba and the former Dutch Antilles.
The total population of the Netherlands increased by 35 thousand people in the first half of this year, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Monday. Like last year, immigration is still the driving force behind the population growth in the Netherlands.
During the first six months of this year about 100 thousand immigrants settled in the Netherlands, about the same as in the same period in 2016. A total of 69 thousand people emigrated away from the Netherlands. The migration balance is therefore 31 thousand, approximately the same as a year ago.
Dutch judges rarely retract the residency permits of immigrants with a criminal record, despite a change in legislation in 2012 that makes it easier to do so, the Volkskrant reports.
The Netherlands' integration policy "failed miserably", according to Hague alderman Rabin Baldewsingh (PvdA). His efforts to get this issue on the national government's agenda are continually unsuccessful, so he decided to launch his own integration program in The Hague, he said in an interview with the Volkskrant.
Family reunification is still the main reason for immigrants to come to the Netherlands, according to Statistics Netherlands. Even at the peak of the asylum crisis in 2015, there were twice as many family reunification immigrants as asylum seekers given a residency permit, the statistics office said on Monday based on new figures.
In 2015 a total of 159 thousand immigrants moved to the Netherlands. A third of them came to join a family member already living in the Netherlands. The rest came to the Netherlands for work, studies or to apply for asylum.
On Tuesday the Dutch Senate voted in a legislative amendment which states that all immigrants to the Netherlands must sign a pledge to uphold and support Dutch values as part of their integration exam. This amendment to the Integration Law will take effect on October 1st, the Ministry of Social Affairs announced.
There are many problems with the integration exam immigrants have to pass if they want to get their Dutch passport, language schools, teachers of Dutch as a second language ant the NT2 professional association said to newspaper Trouw. This results in many immigrants struggling to integrate into Dutch society, according to the language teachers.
Eight in ten Dutch think that there are high tensions between different population groups in Dutch society, such as between people of different religions or between people with and without an immigration background, according to figures Statistics Netherlands released on Wednesday. Less than half experience these tensions in their own lives.
The people of the Netherlands aren't very optimistic about society and the future of the country, according a quarterly report by social and cultural planning office SCP. The Dutch are mostly concerned about immigration, integration, intolerance and that society is growing harsher. They are positive about the economy however, RTL Nieuws.
The SCP did this survey early this year, before the parliamentary election on March 15th.
VVD leader and current Prime Minister Mark Rutte would like to form a cabinet consisting of his VVD, the CDA and D66, he said on Monday after discussing coalition possibilities with Edith Schippers. "Given the election results", these parties need to take governmental responsibility, he said, but added that "it also depends on what the parties themselves want", NU.nl reports.
Left- and right wing parties clashed fiercely over the retirement age, healthcare deductibles and the Dutch identity in the televised debate between eight party leaders in the Carré in Amsterdam on Sunday. With only 9 days to go until the parliamentary election, party leaders are pressured to create some movement in the polls, which have been quiet over the past weeks.
"You can't say that integration failed", Jeroen Dijsselbloem, current Finance Minister and number three on the PvdA candidate list, said on radio program Dit is de Dag on Thursday.
According to Dijsselbloem, "a lot of things went well" when it comes to integration. "Go look in the lecture halls in big cities. They are now filled with children from an immigration background", he said.
He agrees that the naturalization process could go smoother. He thinks it should be more mandatory and that all the responsibility can not be left to the immigrants.
Dutch norms and values and immigration and asylum are the biggest concerns among Dutch voters at the moment, according to a study done by research agency Ipsos on behalf of Dutch broadcaster NOS. Ipsos surveyed a total of 1,103 Dutch voters that form a good representation of the Dutch population, NOS reports.