Population dynamics in the four big municipalities in the Netherlands: selective migration flows to and from the big cities

Han Nicolaas, Statistics Netherlands

Population growth in the four big municipalities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht) has been modest during the last decade. However, these cities experience considerable changes in the composition of their population. That has, among other things, to do with immigration from abroad which is mainly focused on the big cities and with migration flows from the big cities to the surrounding municipalities. Not only the numbers of persons that migrate are important, their social-demographic and economic characteristics are a matter of concern as well. The purpose of this paper is to gain an insight into the population dynamics of the big cities. These dynamics are strongly related with the stage of life of the people who arrive and depart and with their ethnic background. The result of this study shows that, between 1995 and 2005, the composition of the population of the four big cities in the Netherlands has changed considerably. On the one hand, there is a net outflow of natives, mainly to the neighbouring municipalities of the big cities. On the other hand, there is an inflow of people with a foreign, in particular a non-western, background from abroad. With respect to the economic characteristics of the ingoing and outgoing migration flows, the four big cities lost almost 200 millions of Euros in total income earned by the migrants involved in national and international migration flows from 1999 to 2003. A breakdown by ethnicity shows considerable differences between natives and non-natives with regard to these economic flows. Natives took with them a net amount of almost 900 millions of Euros when leaving the big cities, whereas people with a western and non-western background brought with them a net amount of 500 and 200 millions of Euros respectively when entering the city.

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Presented in Session 62: Population processes in urban areas