Netherlands Population Projected to Reach Nearly 18 Million in 2024, 19 Million by 2037

According to the Population Forecast 2023–2070 released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), the Dutch population is expected to continue growing, albeit at a slower pace than in recent years. Anticipated to reach 18 million inhabitants in 2024, the Netherlands is projected to hit the 19 million mark by 2037. The growth is primarily attributed to migration and increased life expectancy, with a quarter of the population expected to be 65 years or older by 2040.

In 2023, an estimated 140,000 people are expected to be added to the Dutch population, representing a decline of 80,000 from 2022. The growth rate is forecasted to further decrease to around 70,000 per year starting from 2028.

Migration plays a significant role in population growth, with the Netherlands experiencing a surge in immigration, notably from Ukraine in 2022. The annual immigration is expected to decrease slightly in the coming years, while emigration is anticipated to rise as some immigrants eventually depart. By 2028, approximately 310,000 immigrants and over 240,000 emigrants are forecasted annually.

Apart from migration, the population is also expanding due to increased life expectancy. The CBS notes that despite a temporary decrease in life expectancy during the COVID-19 pandemic, longevity is on the rise again since 2022.

The proportion of individuals aged 65 and older is expected to grow from 20% in 2023 to 25% by 2040, reflecting both the post-war baby boom and rising life expectancy. After 2040, the share of seniors is projected to stabilize. Meanwhile, the percentage of people aged 20 to 65 is expected to decrease from 59% in 2023 to 54% in 2070.

Additionally, the forecast indicates a changing demographic landscape, with an increase in the number of residents with foreign origins. By 2035, it is estimated that one in three inhabitants will have a foreign background.

The population projection is subject to uncertainties, including potential fluctuations in migration patterns, uncertainties about future trends in life expectancy, family preferences, the duration of the war in Ukraine, and the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The population in 2070 is likely to fall within the range of 18.9 million to 22.2 million residents.