maandag 26 augustus 2013

Will the population in the Netherlands shrink next year?

Population growth 

The Dutch population growth recently has become strongly correlated to the economic situation of the Netherlands. If we plot for instance the unemployment ratio to the population growth rate of the consequent year starting from the year 2000, the following figure emerges [1,2,4].

The worse the economy is, the lower the growth rate of the population. It is obvious that both migration and birth rates are effected by the economic situation. People tend to move away from downturn economies to more prosperous places. Young families are more likely to have children when they can be afforded, than when unemployment of any of the parents threatens.

From the fitted line model it may be concluded that when the Dutch unemployment surpasses about 8%, the following year a negative growth of the population emerges. Since the unemployment has reached 8,7% in August this year (2013), and since it is still rising, it may be well possible, that in 2014 the total population in the Netherlands will shrink. A shrinking population has not occurred in the Netherlands ever since the year 1848 [2,3].

Predictions of the CBS, the Dutch Statistical Authority are quite different. The CBS expects first shrinkage only after the year 2030.

Let us see what happens next year, I can't wait....


[1]     CBS Figures on population: (the population growth in 2013 is estimated on doubling first half year growth figure)

[2]     111 Jaar statistiek in tijdreeksen, 1899–2010:

[3]  Tweehonderd jaar statistiek in tijdreeksen 1800-1999:

[4] Beroepsbevolking; vanaf 1800:

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