Netherlands: Immigration going up

After several years of a downward trend, immigration is going up again in the Netherlands, according to the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics.

In 2000 and 2001 about 130,000 people immigrated to the Netherlands. From 2002 that number went down. In 2005 there were 92,000 immigrants. In 2006 the downward trend ended and about 100,000 people immigrated. Emigration is still higher than immigration. Last year about 132,000 people emigrated.

The upward trend was not an overall one. Less people came from European countries who are not EU members. The total number of immigrants from Africa and Suriname went down. Turkish and Moroccan immigration stayed stable.

More immigrants came from Asia and EU-countries such as Poland and Germany. More Dutch returned as well. Last year about 24,000 Dutch born returned to the Netherlands, almost 4,000 more than in 2005.

Currently the statistics bureau expects 117,000 immigrants this year, with about 39,000 non-Western immigrants and 53,000 Western. The higher immigration has to do with the attractive economy and the falling rate of unemployment.

The number of emigrants has been going up since the end of the 90's. 120,000 people emigrated in 2005. Especially emigration to neighboring countries like Belgium and Germany has gone up. The reason is apparently lower housing prices. It is also possible, since 2001, to get a mortgage tax deduction on houses in those countries, which also affect the emigration numbers.

The upward trend in emigration is especially going up by Dutch born. Last year 62,000 Ethnic Dutch and 2nd generation immigrants emigrated, 8,000 more than in 2005. The total number of EU-citizen emigrants went up by 3,000 to 22,000. Emigration of Antilleans, Arubans and non-EU residents went down.

The emigration trend is explained by the economic situation in the Netherlands and neighboring countries, by the housing prices in the border regions and immigration policy in other countries. The attractiveness of the Netherlands for the current population, as well as the political and social climate also play a role.

Source: Skoeps (Dutch)

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