The Netherlands as a whole and many Dutch regions, in particular, experience a decline in potential labour force as well as an ageing population. These demographic developments may have consequences for the regional labour market and economy, especially in peripheral regions (e.g. Zeeland, Groningen-Drenthe, and Limburg) that are expected to face a severe decline in potential labour force.
Municipalities as well as the business community in these shrinking regions would be better off focusing their policies on managing or anticipating these demographic changes rather than combating them. National government and the provinces could encourage them to do so, support them in their search for the most effective strategies, and create the conditions needed to include and anticipate demographic changes in their policies. These are the conclusions of the National background note published by PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and commissioned by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).