Intolerance 'sparks sharp rise' in emigration

9th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

9 November 2004 , AMSTERDAM — An increasing number of people are looking to emigrate from an "intolerant" Netherlands and the country's population growth this year could be the lowest since 1920, it was reported on Tuesday.

9 November 2004

AMSTERDAM — An increasing number of people are looking to emigrate from an "intolerant" Netherlands and the country's population growth this year could be the lowest since 1920, it was reported on Tuesday.

The number of visitors to the website www.emigratie.nl has increased recently, peaking over the weekend after the assassination on Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh on 2 November, newspaper De Telegraaf reported.

The website's administrator, Buysse Immigration Consultancy, said many Dutch people have been toying for some time with the idea of emigrating. "But the murder of Theo van Gogh decided the matter for them," Rosita Setz said.

Would-be emigrants point to their increasing unease about tolerance in Dutch society as a prime reason in their willingness to leave the Netherlands. The nation has confronted social and ethnic tension for some time now, with the blame often being placed on immigration.

The 'flight to foreign lands' has thus been noticeable for several years, but is becoming increasingly prevalent. Economic reasons were the initial motivating factor, but the social climate and living space have since become the main factors.

Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) said in a press release on Tuesday that the Dutch population grew by almost 14,000 in the third quarter of this year, compared with more than 20,000 in the same period last year.

"The downward trend of recent years continues and is caused by fewer immigrants and births, and rising emigration," the CBS said.

The CBS said the rise in population is considerably smaller than in recent years and if growth continues at the present rate it will amount to 40,000 by the end of the year, the smallest growth figure since 1920.

The economic slowdown has led to lower immigration and birth rates — which is also dropping because there are fewer women in their late 20s and early 30s. Most Dutch women have their first child around the age of 30. Stricter legislation has also reduced the inflow of asylum seekers since 2000.

In July this year, the CBS said a greater number of people left the Netherlands in 2003 than moved here. It was the first time in 20 years that the number of emigrants topped the number of immigrants.

The CBS said some 104,800 people emigrated from the Netherlands in 2003, compared with 104,500 who entered the country.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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