Regional population and household projections, 2011–2040: Marked regional differences

01-10-2012 | Publication

The regional population and household projections for 2011 to 2040 presents future developments in the population and number of households per municipality in the Netherlands. This article discusses five important future developments.

First of all, the population of the Netherlands will continue to grow over the next 15 years. Growth will be particularly strong in the Randstad (meaning the urban conurbation of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht), but on the periphery of the country the population is expected to decline.

Secondly, the number of households is also expected to continue to grow strongly throughout the Netherlands – only in north-east Groningen and Zeeuws-Vlaanderen will growth level off or even turn to decline.

Thirdly, although the size of the potential labour force has increased continuously over the last few decades, it is expected to decline significantly in the near future. Decrease in the potential labour force, already a fact in many regions, will spread to almost all regions. Only in a strip that runs from The Hague Agglomeration, through Utrecht, Greater Amsterdam and Flevoland to north Overijssel will the potential labour force continue to grow over the coming 15 years.

Fourthly, ageing of the population will accelerate in the coming decades as the post-war baby-boomers enter the over-65 age group. Although the number of people aged 65 and older will increase throughout the Netherlands, the increase will be stronger on the periphery of the country (where the strongest population decline is also expected) than in more urbanised areas, such as the Randstad.

Fifthly, the number of immigrants will increase significantly. Most immigrants currently live in the Randstad and this is not expected to change.