Dutch Demographics

GNXP’s posters have covered the Netherlands’ recent events, starting with the assassination of van Gogh and continuing through to the current unsettled and open-ended situation. My contribution? I thought that I’d take a brief look at the situation in the Netherlands, all appropriate thanks owing to Afghan Voice.

Back in April, the now-defunct blog Afghan Voice linked to my posting on French Muslims and demographics. The author went on to examine the specific case of the Netherlands.

Fortunately for him, the Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics had already examined the question, in the article “Immigrants in the Netherlands, 2003” (PDF format, Dutch language). His translation:

“Not-western immigrants see to for a large part of the growth of the Dutch population. Between 1995 and 2003, they grew by 490 thousand, while during the same period the total population grew by 770 thousand. … CBS expects the non-Western immigration to total 3,5 million in 2050. In 2003, they total about 1,6 million. … Starting in 2007, the non-immigrant population will decrease … [They] will total 11,9 million in 2050, down from 13,2 million in 2003.”

And as Afghan Voice adds, “[r]emember also, that these are predictions and statistics of non-Western immigrants; not Muslims (immigrants.) Only a mere 56% of non-Western immigrants are estimated to be of Islamic faith.”

As the graph on page 20 makes clear, the number of ethnic Dutch in the 1972-2050 period is expected to remain stable in the range of 12 million over this period; including other Westerners, this figure rises to just short of 14 million. Further, pages 23 through 24 explores the depth of the demographic transition, with Turkish fertility rates dropping by one child to rates marginally above replacement rates over the period of study and Moroccan rates falling more dramatically still. The relative youth of the Muslim population of the Netherlands, along with relatively high fertility rates, ensures continued growth above the Dutch average. A takeover of the country, though, is unlikely.

To be sure, the Dutch Muslim population is quite concentrated, with many projections–for instance here at Radio Free Europe–referring to an unspecified government report which indicates that “by 2010, large Dutch cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht will have Muslim majorities.” The problem, though, is that the definition of city used in all of these references is vague: is a city a legal municipality or is it a metropolitan area? The former is a rather more restricted area than the latter. If, in the urban areas of the Randstad, ethnic Dutch and assimilated immigrants tend to be concentrated on the peripheries of major cities while non-assimilated immigrants tend to be resident in urban cores, this isn’t exactly an unprecedented setup.

It’s not at all clear what exactly this means, anyway. Of New York City’s population of roughly eight million, one million are Jewish and at least two million are Hispanic. Not only are these ratios (one-in-eight and one-in-four) greatly in excess of the American average, but including all of the diverse immigrant groups from Europe, Asia, and now Africa it’s safe to say that WASPs (in the traditional narrow sense of “White Anglo-Saxon Protestants”) form a decidedly small minority of New York City’s population. And yet, New York City is considered and considers itself American, blue-versus-red rhetoric aside.

Clearly, the Netherlands needs a new policy towards its immigrant population. Calling for a pause in immigration may well be a good idea, given concerns over immigrant integration. The Netherlands’ race issues need addressing, on both sides of the fence. (If there is, in fact, pervasive misogyny and homophobia among Dutch Muslims, it should be addressed. All prejudices are bad.) Apocalypse, though, will come only if everyone concerned really wants it.

Posted by randymac at 04:33 PM

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