Immigrants in the Netherlands - Fact and Figures

General Numbers

There are around 1.1 million 'traditional immigrants' in the Netherlands and around 560,000 asylum seekers. By 'traditional immigrants' the Dutch mean people from Turkey, Morocco, Surinam, Dutch Antilles and Aruba. Overall this comes to around 10% of the total population.

The numbers breakdown given is as follows:
Turkey - 32% of immigrants (359,000), 45% of which are second-generation
Morocco - 29% of immigrants (316,000), 47% of which are second-generation

Of the asylum seekers:
Iran - 37,000 (12% second-generation)
Afghanistan - 29,000 (17% second-generation)

Originally coming for jobs, most immigrants coming in from these countries are now immigrating for marriage. Of 55,600 requests for a residence permit, 75% gave family reunification as a reason. A quarter of those were from Turks and Moroccans. The total requests for this year stand now at 32,000, probably due to the stricter demands. In order to get a residence permit for family reunification reasons you must now be 21, and your Dutch partner must earn at least 120% of the minimum wage.

Both groups are on the average younger than native Dutch, for two different reasons. Turks and Moroccans have more kids, while most asylum seekers are themselves young, being between the ages of 20 and 35.


While the total number of children born in the Netherlands is steadily going down, the number of 'immigrant' kids is going up.

Numbers were first published in 2002. In that year there were 33,000 babies of 'non-Western' descent, divided as follows:
25% - Moroccan
20% - Turkish
14% - Surinamese
7% - Dutch Antilles or Aruba

2/3 of all non-western babies were born in the 25 big cities. In Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague almost half of the babies were non-western. In Leiden and Enschede 20% of the babies were of non-western descent. In Emmen only 7% were.

However, birth rates are going down by the immigrant population as well. The average kids per Moroccan woman went from 4.9 in 1990 to 23.28 in 2004. By Turkish women the average went from 3.2 to 2.26. Immigrant women are also having kids later. By Moroccan women the average age for a first child is now 25.5 (up from 23.5 in 1990) while for Turkish women the average is 24.2 (up from 21.8)

In 1996 47% of 16-year old mothers were of Dutch descent. In 2004 this number went up to 58%. By immigrants young motherhood is an exclusive phenomenon by immigrants from the Dutch Antilles or Surinam).

Traditional Opinions

Is there a problem for women to combine work with kids?

There was not much difference over this question between native Dutch and immigrants. Overall 25% of men think that there is, leaving 75% who disagree. Women don't think there's a problem with combining work and raising children:
Of Dutch women, 84% see no problem with it, by Moroccans - 86%, and by Turkish - 83%

The differences between the groups come with other traditional views.

Are women more suitable to raise kids?
By men:
Dutch - 49%
Turks - 72%
Marrocans - 64%

By women:
Dutch - less than 25%
Turks - 52%
Moroccans - 41%

Would you say it's obvious that you want kids? Answering in the affirmative:
Dutch - men 25%, women 14%
Turks - men 68%, women 56%
Moroccans - men 64%, women 40%

Family violence

Most women seeking refuge are of non-Dutch origin. In 2001 59% of those seeking refuge were non-Dutch.

However, 'Muslim violence' does not fully account for this. The breakdown according to groups:
Dutch - 41%
Moroccan - 13%
Turks - 8%
Surinam and Dutch Antilles - 11% (this last group being generally non-Muslim)

The violence by Dutch is going down while by the Turks and Moroccans it's going up.

In the past 6 years, 8 women were reported killed in cases of 'honor killings' (breakdown: 3 Turks, 4 Afghans, 1 Iraqi)

'Honor killings', unlike other types of violence, are not condemned by the society. According to this article, this was a common phenomenon also in Roman Catholic lands around the Mediterranean before 'modernization'.

Last fall, police conducted a study in two regions (Haaglanden and Zuid Holland Zuid) to see how many times "family honor" was involved in cases in which police were called in. Overall "family honor" was the reason 79 times. In 30 cases violence was threatened, in 26 cases violence used, and 11 cases ended in death.

About 1.5 million people live in those two regions, which is about 10% of all Dutch. Taking into account the percentage of immigrants living in those areas, this comes out to an approximation that yearly in the Netherlands there are 22 cases of violence due to 'family honor' ending with death.


In 1996, the Van Traa commission undertook a study to see if there is a link between non-Dutch and organized crime. It found that 75% of such criminal activity in the Netherlands was foreign, but this comes out to only 25 cases a year. Prostitution in most cases is not forced.

Just as the average Italian immigrant was in the past a victim of the mafia and not an ally, the commission found this true for other ethnic groups.

It also found that drug trade goes 'in general' by the minorities, Turks dealing with heroine, Moroccans with marijuana and immigrants from Surinam and the Dutch Antilles importing Cocaine from South America. Most of the immigrants dealing with drugs are not drug kingpins, but rather the couriers, street sellers, runners etc.

Today criminality by immigrants is seen as a sign of defective integrations. In 2005 the CBS first gave out numbers criminals and income/education.

For example, a young person who dropped out of school is 2.5 times more likely to come into contact with police due to a violent crime.

Contact with police:
Dutch - 1 percent
non-Dutch - 2.2%

Women - less than 1%

Dutch men - 1.6%, though from the 18-24 year olds the figure is 2.2%.
From the non-Dutch 18-24 year olds - 4.4% come into contact with police.

Split by 'source groups':
2nd generation Moroccans - 10.7%
Antilleans - 10.1%
1st generation Moroccans - 9.6%

Moroccans generally deal more with property crimes while Antilleans deal with women and drugs.

37.5% of crime suspects in 2002 were non-Dutch (up by 5% from the last statistical data), which is two times the normal population


Overall non-Dutch kids do worse in school than their Dutch counterparts. Drop-out rate by immigrants is 20% compared to 8% for Dutch kids.

Non-Dutch students have lower scores than their Dutch classmates. Figures from 2003 show a difference in 8 points for higher education and 12 points in vocational training schools.

95% of Dutch students taking pre-university education passed their exams while only 83% of Moroccans did so and only 73% of the Turks. Students from the Dutch Antilles passed at a rate of 90%.

Most non-Dutch go for vocational training, with 45% of students in that track being non-Dutch. 96% of Dutch students passed their exams. By 2nd generation Moroccans this was 89% and by Turks - 85%

In general women are more successful in school, getting scores higher by up to 6 points than their male counterparts.

Of those who chose to go into pre-university education, 90% of non-Dutch passed successfully while only 80% of the Dutch did the same. However, this did not mean that the immigrants continued on to higher studies. In the 18-20 year olds group, 53% of the Dutch are students, by Turks - 28% and by Moroccans - 23%.

Once starting university, success rates are not high, especially by the men. 60% of Moroccan women starting studies in 1995 had a diploma 6 years later, almost like the figures for Dutch men. By Moroccan men this was only 40%.

For Turkish women - 50% finished their studies, while less than 40% of men did.


Anonymous said...

common sense out of the moroccan and turkish crime syndicates there is a kingpin,the captains and the soldiers that are out on the street just like any other organization and moroccans are not just limited to marijuana they move up to cocain and heroin also

Anonymous said...

Very good post, scary statistics that more Europeans should be made aware of.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe
says Islam is BEST

supported by liberals
against all that they stand for

ALB said...

I'm currently trying to gather data on immigration in the Netherlands. I find you facts very interesting. Can you direct me to your source for this information?

Esther said...


The source for this article is from the Dutch newspaper Trouw (link in the title of the article), which took its information from various sources.

You can find more information on the Dutch Statistics Bureau site. They have a special page on immigrants in English.

Anonymous said...

What a nice future you Muslims have brought for the Dutch...I can imagine how happy they are! Their country soon will look like one of yours, just choose one: Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Morocco, Sudan or any other poverty sricked backward Islamic fundamentalist terrorist-run country.
However they let you in, so they get what they deserve: back to the Stone Age...