The population of the Netherlands increased to more than 17.8 million last year and is expected to grow at twice the rate of 2022 in the year ahead, according to estimates published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).
The Dutch population grew by almost 227,000 last year, with the increase almost entirely attributable to mass migration, Dutch broadsheet De Telegraaf reported.
More than a quarter of new arrivals came from Ukraine, while the number of migrants originating from Asia and the Middle East, including Syria, Turkey, and India, all increased compared to previous years.
“In recent years, population growth has mainly been due to foreign net migration. In 2022, slightly over 400,000 people immigrated to the Netherlands,” CBS stated. “Foreign net migration will also be driving population growth in the future, according to the forecast,” it added.
The Netherlands is already one of the most crowded countries in the European Union by population density, second only to Malta.
The Dutch government’s stats agency revealed earlier this month that 15 percent of the current population were born outside of the country, and 12 percent have at least one parent who are foreign-born, resulting in more than 1 in 4 people residing in the Netherlands either being a foreign national or a first-generation migrant.
In its long-term projections, CBS expects the Dutch population to cross the 18 million mark in 2024, hit 19 million by 2034, and reach 20.7 million inhabitants by 2070.
It also estimates the country will see an aging population in the decades to come. Over a quarter of the population is expected to be of retirement age by 2040, and the number of over-80s should almost double in the next 20 years from 900,000 at the end 2022 to 1.7 million by 2043.