The Netherlands has experienced its highest growth in population since the turn of the century. Net migration doubled since last year, and a third of the increase was caused by Syrian ‘asylum seekers’ alone.
Net migration for the first half of 2016 was twice as high as last year resulting in the Dutch population experiencing its highest growth rate since 2001, with Syrian migrants making up more than 30% of the growth, the Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS) reported.
Should Britain, which has a population nearly four times that of the Netherlands, experience a proportional influx of migrants they would fill a city the size of Oxford.
The CBS highlighted the effect that the migrant crisis, which saw over one million migrants enter Europe from the Middle East and Africa, had on the population figures.
The report stated: “Part of this increase was due to a large number of asylum seekers registering with the municipality”, the largest number of migrants by ethnicity being Syrians at 15,000 – more than one-third of the total net population growth.
This was followed by Poles, but the figure remained much the same as last year. However, the number of Eritreans nearly doubled, and the number of Ethiopians grew by 450 per cent, both figures again due to the migrant crisis.
In total, 99,000 people immigrated to the Netherlands and nearly 64,000 emigrated, leaving net migration (people entering minus people leaving the country) at 35,000. Though net natural population growth – births minus deaths – had an increase on this time last year (where for the first six months of 2015 net natural growth was 5,00o), it only accounted for 7,500 of the total increase.
When last measured in 2015, the population of the Netherlands stood at 17 million people, of which nearly 3.7 million were defined as being of an immigrant background, accounting for 22 per cent of the total population.