Leaving the Netherlands

I’ve written several times in this space about the anecdotal evidence for an increased rate of emigration from the Netherlands, without having any specific data on the scope of the outflow. But now Vox EU has a report on the statistics from last year, and it shows that the hemorrhage of the Dutch population is accelerating.

Last year 123,000 Dutch citizens left their home country for good, which comes 7.5 emigrants for every thousand inhabitants. A comparable outflow from the United States would be 2.3 million people — in just one year.

Dutch media has repeatedly reported this phenomenon because it caught demographic forecasters by surprise. The last emigration wave occurred fifty years ago, and at present the Netherlands is the only Western European country experiencing net emigration, although similar trends are visible in the UK (Salt and Rees, 2006) and to lesser extent in Germany.

People leaving the Netherlands on such a large scale has worried the media and politicians. The big Dutch puzzle is that it contradicts common knowledge and economic logic. The reason why immigrants come to the United States or Europe has been widely, studied and the general driving force behind these migration flows is thought to be a higher standard of living (cf. Hatton and Williamson, 2005). The Netherlands is one of the most prosperous countries in the world, so why are people leaving a country that has been immigrants’ destination for so many years?

To answer this question, we examined national data to see who has left and surveyed a representative sample of the Dutch in 2005 to learn who had emigration plans. To generate more in-depth insight into the characteristics of the Dutch emigrant, we also carried out a survey among a focus group of potential emigrants who had visited an emigrants’ fair. In 2007, with the help of Statistics Netherlands, we tracked the whereabouts of all those surveyed in 2005.

Most of the emigration is to other European countries, but significant numbers of Dutch people are also moving to the Unites States, Canada, Australia, and other destinations outside of Europe.

It’s no surprise that the best and the brightest are leaving, and taking their wealth-generation skills with them:
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National emigration figures for 1999 to 2006 show that men are twice as likely to emigrate as women, and it is mostly the young (under 30) who emigrate. Furthermore, it is the Dutch in the top decile of the income distribution who are most likely to emigrate.

And what reasons do the emigrants (or would-be emigrants) cite for their departure?

Dutch Emigration

Definitions of the categories shown in the above graph:

Dreamers:   Dutch who intended to emigrate but have not (yet) done so
Stayers:   Dutch who did not intend to emigrate and have indeed stayed
Movers:   Dutch who intended to emigrate and have done so.

The authors of the study draw conclusions about the data, confirming the widely-held intuition that the deterioration in the quality of government and the lack of civil order play a large part in the desire to leave the Netherlands:

The results of our study reveal that both the private and the public domain of life are important to understanding emigration from a high-income country like the Netherlands. The more negative one is about the public domain, the more likely it is that one will actually emigrate (see Figure 1). Of course, the Dutch who stayed are also negative about large parts of the public domain, but emigrants (“movers” and “dreamers”, i.e. those who intended to emigrate but have not yet) are far more negative than those staying behind. The biggest difference between emigrants and those staying behind is the evaluation of the quality of public space. Without knowing how people feel about the quality of the public domain, large-scale emigration would remain a mystery.


Our study suggests that the quality of the public domain is an important part of quality of life, and those Dutch who have moved are implicitly casting a vote of no confidence in those who govern the nation. This lesson may also be of some relevance to other European countries where emigration has taken off and crowdedness has become a concern. For example, England’s population density is similar to that of the Netherlands (394 inhabitants per square kilometre), and British surveys seem to register the same type of dissatisfaction witnessed in the Netherlands.

Those Dutch who have moved are implicitly casting a vote of no confidence in those who govern the nation…

Well, DUH!

Hat tip: ZZMike.

20 thoughts on “Leaving the Netherlands

  1. The stayers will be a dying culture. Where do Americans go? Buy in a tropical country like Costa Rica and live as a minority with money? Stay and fight?

  2. Stay and fight, of course. There is no other option that will ensure the survival of western civilization.

    “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds are against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than live as slaves.”

  3. Personally I’m pessimistic about the future of Holland and of Sweden. Those two countries will most likely fall into muslim hands in the not too far future. This is very scary because then they will have a full sharia state in the heart of europe, which will probably make those countries with borders to Hollistan very nervous. Most likely will all future attacks on the surrounding kafir-countries be launched from Hollistan. When finally Sweden morphs into Al-Swedislam, it both would and should worry the russians since all attacks against will probably been launched from there. I’m much more optimistic about “Saudi Britain” though although it looks realdark right now. I have a feeling that the brits are more prone to fight for their country and freedom than the dutch and swedes. Those who can will escape and those who does not have that option will have no choice than accepting their serfdom.

  4. Why should they not fight, then, robin shadowes, those who remain behind? Please tell us how many Muslims are in the Netherlands. Then tell us how many are fully practicing Muslims, because there was an article on that recently, too, putting it at about 20%. It all comes back to one factor: the Dutch expect their government to do everything while the remaining population behave as though they have no vested rights or interests in their own country.

  5. The British won’t fight — they lack any spines because passive Social Welfare and a good standard of living, coupled with a relatively honest state as in the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway have left them trusting the government and elites.

    They have no widespread criminal organization to contest the streets (Italy and the Camorra, France and Union Corse), and a tradition of relatively efficient government which haunts them.

    Italy and France (likely) will fight, the others will all fall in one form or another. Austria, the Eastern European nations will fight also.

  6. Anyone who self-identifies as “British” (not counting the prots in northern ireland) won’t fight, for sure, but that still leaves plenty of scots and english and welsh to do the fighting for them.

    Let me put it this way. Why do you think we have that lack of criminal organisation and the relatively honest state? Even now the government still fears the “mob” that Charles II was so keen to keep on side, though rather less than they rightly should.

    Since it looks like we may well be facing the complete collapse of the EU in the near future, from the double whammy of wide-spread power shortages and the economic crisis, I say all bets are off. There’s no way to predict how any particular nation will turn when the lights are out but I’m fairly sure I know which way the UK will go, and it isn’t down. Not in the long run.

  7. Why the hell don’t people stay and fight?

    What use is an “implicit vote”?

    No use at all.

    A collective moronism has bedevilled Europe.

  8. Watling —

    Gates of Vienna’s rules about comments require that they be civil, temperate, on-topic, and show decorum. Your comment violated the last of these rules. We keep a PG-13 blog, and exclude foul language, explicit descriptions, and epithets. This is why I deleted your comment. However, it was so entertaining it that I replicated it after judicious editing.


    Watling said…


    What qualifies you – as someone based in California (according to your profile) – to cast judgement upon what the people of a nation 5,000 miles from you will or won’t do?

    I have yet to meet anyone here who trusts our government. Our government comprises a bunch of useless, lying, conniving, pathetic, cheating, elitist, condescending, anti-British, pro-Islamic, anti-white, Commie f***wits.

  9. Living in the States, Florida to be exact, I have no real knowledge on which populations in Europe will fight for their nation and culture. It’s sad to think it will come to that, that there isn’t an electoral alternative.

    Sometimes I feel Europe is already lost, but then I read people like Fjordman and other Europeans bravely telling it like it is and I have some hope. Regardless I’ve always been convinced we in the US have to stand with Europe, because if we don’t we’re next. Even without hope, we must stand against the darkness.

  10. In all European countries there is a minority who do not agree with the course their countries are taking. But all they are doing is trying to draw a majority of the voting population on their side, an endeavour which will not succeed. Apart from that I don’t see them doing anything. I don’t see much of a difference here between the various European countries. A fight, in form of a civil war or anything similar, will not happen unless the above-mentioned minority actively seeks it, simply because the governments enjoy the support of a majority of their population for their policies. Unless the above-mentioned minorities stop going along with the majority, Europe is indeed lost, all of it.

    Some people want the discontent minorities to stay instead of emigrate and to “fight”. That’s a good idea, but until today there does not exist even a nucleus of an organization outlining what such a fight would consist of and preparing for it, and I don’t see anybody willing to start one, either. Of course, we have individuals and organizations trying to shape public opinion and we have our political parties, but in the end this is all going nowhere, as long as we stay within the limits of democratic discourse. In every democratic election we get defeated fair and square. A majority of the population agrees with their countries going down the gutter and if a minority does not want that happen to themselves, the only thing they can do, is separating themselves from the majority. Yet I don’t see us doing that. As long as every desperate individual stays alone, he is not going to participate in any “fight”, let alone win it, therefore he might just as well emigrate, what difference does it make?

  11. “Most of the emigration is to other European countries, but significant numbers of Dutch people are also moving to the Unites States, Canada, Australia, and other destinations outside of Europe.”

    You all are most welcome, one and all.

  12. On the plus side, most Dutch emigrants are moving to Belgium, where they are reinforcing the Dutch speaking community. Who knows? If this trend keeps getting stronger and stronger, they may even end up outcrowding the arrogant French speakers in places like Brussels which once were Frenchified by force.
    On the minus side, we’ll hear no end to the French whine. These bullies love posing as victims when it suits them.

  13. Believe me, when there is no place to run, people will fight.

    They don’t have to run and they don’t have to fight, either. Their countries are becoming more Islamic and more multicultural, but very slowly, many welcome this change and the others have plenty of time to get used to it. Many counterjihadists still delude themselves that one day the majority will “wake up”, but the history of mass immigration in Europe is already 50 years old and if people, by and large, didn’t wake up in all that time, they might have been fully awake in the first place. The ones who have to wake up is us. Wake up to the fact that there is a fundamental, unabridgeable gap between the majority and us. Not even the non-muslim people in Islamic countries have woken up, not even today. Every once and now they get angry about their dhimmi status, but next morning they have all but forgotten about it. If we don’t want to take it, then it’s us who must do something about it, not the muslims and not the majority. But what is stopping us from taking action is that most of us are still waiting for the majority to “wake up” and that frustrates me deeply.

  14. Pasta, you are spot on. I applaud you.
    As a Dutchman myself, I have pride in my nationality and the history of my country. But more and more I am ashamed of the people around me. The more you speak for your and their identity, the more you are considered an outcast. I have long discussions with friends recently, awaking the logic of independent thinking. But most of the time I just hit a wall.

    Geert Wilders is a hero in my book. He sacrifices everything for his ideals, which are actually the ideals of the Dutch population. Instead of appreciation he gets anything but.

    I have already decided. This will be our last hope. If at the next elections the current leftist swamp gets reign again, this means I am not in a society where I can feel free and comfortable. How can I fight for something I do not believe in?

    At a certain extent I have found this in Australia, but I see plenty of news where Australia is heading into the same direction. They are only in an earlier stage. Still, when Holland falls, the message cannot longer be denied. At least, I hope so.

    Because Holland will fall if the trend is not reversed. I am hoping for a violent confrontation sooner than later, because now we will still have the upper hand.

  15. Still, the fact that most emigrants from Holland choose to move to Belgium isn’t immediately understandable since the Dutch speaking part of Belgium is very crowded too and Belgium is swamped with the same sort of Third World immigrants that lives in the Netherlands. Are they attracted by a better tax regime, by multilingual jobs in Brussels?

  16. Unfrench, I think it’s because it isn’t Holland but it’s still got dutch-speakers, after a fashion. I wonder what the stats are for emigration to South Africa or other dutch former colonies.

  17. I understand that Flanders and Holland both speak Dutch. Still, I am not sure what they stand to gain by moving to Belgium. one would need to learn how many Belgians move to Holland every year before reaching any conclusion. When I lived in Holland, I met a lot of Belgians that had moved there for work.
    As to Indonesia and South Africa they are probably not much of an emigration prospect for most people at the moment, but then again I could be wrong since I don’t have the figures.

  18. Pasta, nice comments but in my case your last comment (open eyes) does not hold. Let me explain.
    I left the Netherlands 5 years ago for a managing job in Thailand that was supposed to last 1 year. I did not have any intention of leaving the Netherlands indefinitely, just wanted to get some working experience abroad. But in the 1 year I was here in Thailand I found that there were many facets of the Netherlands that were really awkward in particular the decisions and motives of the government.

    So my eyes were opened when I left the Netherlands, mostly because I had to get my information about the well-being of the Netherlands from the internet, which is very diverse. The traditional Dutch media (TV, Radio, Newspapers) are all in the hands of the ruling Elites and everyone better be sure that they cover up a lot of their wrongdoings and they have an awful lot of influence on the mindset of the Dutch people with their media. For example holding back information, belittling multicultural problems and they are always trying to demonize, although quite subtle, the opposition. The Dutch are literally being held hostage within the ideas of the mainly leftist elite and you do not easily break out of such a situation yourself.

    With the way the Netherlands is ruled nowadays I will definitely not come back, but I desperately hope that things will change for the better. Not in the last place that people will rise up to the islamification of the Netherlands and Europe as a whole. I have been trying to do my part from far away, like ventilating opinions. But I was quite surprised that until today there are still no organizations outside politics that are lawfully or unlawfully fighting islamification. People better get organized because their counterpart definitely already is! Geert Wilders recently revealed at a convention in New York that his party and similar parties in other European countries are thinking of setting up a European version of the AFA (Act For America). Let’s hope a non-political organization will develop itself from this European AFA.

    I’m sure that the majority of the Dutch emigrants are the ones with the higher incomes, simply because they have either the money or the knowledge to have more chance of succeeding quite easily abroad.

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