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 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.
Immigration and an increase in the number of babies born in 2016 pushed the Dutch population over the 17.1 million mark. The four big cities in the Netherlands saw most of the growth, while about 1 in 5 municipalities actually saw their populations shrink, Statistics Netherlands announced on Tuesday.
Amsterdam saw the biggest growth in 2016 with an increase of over 15 thousand residents to a total of almost 850 thousand inhabitants on December 1st, 2016. Rotterdam's population grew with 8 thousand and The Hague and Utrecht with 4 thousand each.
The Dutch population grew less strongly in the first half of this year than in the same period last year. The population grew by a total of 22 thousand people in the first half of 2015. This is mostly due to more deaths, fewer births and relatively high immigration.