Dutch population growth halves as death rate exceeds birth rate

The population growth in the Netherlands is half of what it was a year ago. In 2020, the population grew by around 63,000 people, whereas in 2019, 132,000 people were added, reports the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). This is due to the coronavirus pandemic and its effects of fewer immigrants arriving and more people dying.

The population growth that did occur was mainly due to immigration. The CBS reports that the number of immigrants in 2020 is expected to be nearly 211,000, which is 58,000 less than the year before.

The number of births minus mortality, called, “the natural increase”, is expected to be around 4,000. In both the second and third waves, the mortality rate exceeded the birth rate. Researchers also show that more people died than were born last year in 219 of the 355 Dutch municipalities.

Growth due mainly to immigration

Statisticians say that the first wave of the pandemic had the greatest impact on population growth, with more people dying than there were being born. Additionally, immigration slowed to a near halt.

In the third quarter, the number of deaths declined and measures were eased, while foreign immigration picked up a bit. Though again in the fourth quarter, mortality increased and immigration declined.

Less immigration from outside the EU

Although the majority of population growth was due to immigration, rates were still significantly lower than in 2019, particularly from countries outside the EU.

After the coronavirus measures were introduced in mid-March, fewer people migrated to the Netherlands from abroad. “The decline was less pronounced for people born in an EU country, and increased more quickly after the intelligent lockdown,” the CBS explains.

Emigration, on the other hand, has changed less. During 2020, fewer people from outside the EU left their home countries, while the emigration of people born in an EU country increased slightly, particularly in the first quarter.

Are you surprised by how population growth has changed in 2020? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature Image: Skitterphoto/Pexels

Brin Andrews
Brin Andrewshttp://brinandrews.com
Brin is an avid ice cream eater from the US, calling Amsterdam home since early 2019. As a lover of mountains, life below sea level has been a bit of an adjustment, but she manages to stay afloat with long runs, wine, and frequent travel. Incidentally, these are a few of her favourite topics to write about.


  1. Should try to make better birth policies. Is shameful how short the maternity and paternity licence is. Not to mention the penalization for full time parents in terms of hours a child can have day care bso etc…


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