More Dutch people leaving big city life behind
More Dutch people than ever before are leaving large cities to live elsewhere in the Netherlands, according to the national statistics office (CBS).
The outflow is strongest in Amsterdam. In 2015, 39,000 people left the capital, 4,000 more than in 2014, and 10,000 more than in 2013.
Figures from The Hague and Utrecht tell a similar story, with Rotterdam the only big city to report an increase in domestic migration.
Most of these people aren’t selling their apartments and buying dairy farms in Friesland however. Many are settling in the suburbs close to the cities and the population of the wider Randstad area as a whole did not change much.
‘House prices in Amsterdam are almost back to pre-2008 levels, whereas in other municipalities the prices are not back to this level by far,’ statistical researcher Floris Jansen told DutchNews.nl.
Aside from rising city property prices, Jansen suggested that ‘the preferences of families might have changed…families who lived in small city houses may have moved to larger houses with gardens outside the city.’
Immigration remains high
Despite the outward migration of locals, all four of the Netherlands’ largest cities continue to grow due to an influx of foreign immigrants and high birth rates, the CBS said.
The overall quality of life in large Dutch cities remains high too. In a recent EU-wide survey, Rotterdammers were found to be the happiest Dutch city dwellers. Amsterdam also scored highly in the survey.