An estimated almost 1.1 million Netherlands residents who are still alive today experienced the liberation in 1945. That amounts to 6.2 percent of the population, according to an ANP analysis of the most recently available Statistics Netherlands population figures for 2022.
The number of people who experienced the liberation is logically getting smaller every year. In 2017, it was still 1.6 million people (over 9 percent of the Netherlands’ population at the time). In 2012, it was over 2.1 million people (13 percent). In particular, the group that was already adult at the time of the liberation is dwindling rapidly. This year, it concerns about 18,000 people. In 2012 there were still 263,000
In municipalities with a relatively large number of elderly residents, you will also find a relatively large number of people who remember the Second World War. The Noord-Holland municipalities of Laren (13 percent) and Bergen (12 percent) are at the top of that list, followed by Heemstede, Bloemendaal, and Renkum. Of the 20 largest municipalities, Apeldoorn, Breda, Zaanstad, and Leeuwarden have relatively the most residents who were already born when the Netherlands was liberated.
Reporting by ANP