Friday, November 10, 2006

In the first nine months of this year, almost 100,000 people left the Netherlands to settle elsewhere, 12,000 more than the same period last year


About half of the emigrants were Dutch natives, the national statistics office CBS said on Friday.

If the trend continues, more than 130,000 people will have left the country by the end of this year.

For the third successive year, the number of emigrants substantially outnumbers immigrants, the CBS said.

The net effect means the Dutch population was reduced in the 2004-06 period by 75,000. In the preceding three years, there was a positive net migration of 75,000.

Despite the dramatic reversal, the number of immigrants is also on the increase.

In the first nine months of this year, 76,000 immigrants settled in the Netherlands, an increase of 6,000 compared to last year.

They primarily came from Poland, Germany and the US. The number of former Dutch emigrants returning to their country of birth is also growing.

The rising rate of emigration slowed population increase to 13,000 this year 9,000 fewer than 2005. The population is expected to grow by 20,000 this year.

The population growth has not been so low since population counts were conducted for the first time in 1900.

In the first nine months of this year, 139,000 babies were born, a decrease of 3,000 compared with the same period in 2005.

If this trend continues, this year's birth rate will be under 185,000, the lowest number in two decades.

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