The number of immigrants coming to the Netherlands in 2022 increased dramatically compared to a year earlier. Last year, about 403,000 people came to the country, 151,000 more than in 2021, representing an increase of about 60 percent. The increase is largely due to the war in Ukraine. This also means that the immigration figure is now higher than in 2019, the last year before the coronavirus pandemic, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) said on Tuesday based on new data.
Even excluding those making use of the Temporary Protection Directive (RTB) because of the war in Ukraine, the number of immigrants to the Netherlands was higher than in 2019. Roughly 295,000 immigrants came to the Netherlands for reasons other than that war, compared to about 269,000 in 2019, and almost 253,000 in 2021.
Some 230,000 of the 403,000 immigrants last year came from countries outside the European Union (EU) or European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) countries. That number increased by 140,000 last year compared to a year earlier. The EFTA countries include Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland, which are not EU Member States.
Almost half of this group (108,000) made use of the Temporary Protection Directive because of the war in Ukraine. This directive is intended for people displaced by that specific war.
The number of other immigrants, such as asylum seekers, who came to the Netherlands from outside the EU or EFTA countries has also increased. Compared to 2021, that number increased by 35 percent last year. Of the asylum migrants, 52 percent came from Syria. Many people from Afghanistan, Turkey, Yemen and Eritrea also applied for asylum in the Netherlands last year, according to CBS.
The number of people who came to the Netherlands for work rose by 65 percent, while there was a 35 percent in arrivals for family reunification. Most immigrant workers came from India, followed by Turkey, Russia and countries in the southern region of Africa. According to Statistics Netherlands, the number of labor migrants and family reunification applications from Russia tripled last year compared to previous years.
The influx of immigrants from EU or EFTA countries rose from 120,000 in 2021 to 129,000 last year. They mainly came to the Netherlands for work and family reunification. According to Statistics Netherlands, this group also departed the Netherlands more often than other immigrants. After ten years, almost three-quarters of those in this category have left, roughly 25 percent more than immigrants from outside the EU or EFTA countries.
Reporting by ANP