Proportionally, the largest migrant background in Friesland is German
Translated by Thomas Ansell
More and more Frisians have a migrant background, reports the Omrop Fryslân. A ‘migrant background’ in this case refers to someone either born outside of Friesland, or with parents born outside of the Province. The Fries Sociaal Planbureau has released the news, following research into the Population Monitor (Monitor Bevolking) dataset.
Over the last ten years there has been an over 25 percent growth in the number of Frisians with migrant backgrounds, though the provinces of Drenthe and Friesland still lag behind in overall diversity. “In the entirety of the Netherlands, 24 percent of people have a ‘migrant background’”, says researcher Wilma de Vries, “but in North and South Holland that rises to almost a third of the population. Drenthe and Friesland have the lowest proportion”.
Most Frisians with a migrant background have a connection to Germany, says De Vries: “lots of them have lived in places with lots of water; on islands, or by the coast”. The next largest group have Indonesian family history- perhaps unsurprising considering Dutch colonization of the country for over 300 years. People with a family connection to other former Dutch colonies, such as Surinam and in the former Dutch Antilles are the next largest groups represented in the Frisian population. “They are often people that have already lived in the province for a long time”, says De Fries.
In parts of the Province with large agricultural sectors there has been a (small) influx of labour migrants, many with background in EU countries such as Poland. There has also been a rise in the number of people that came to Friesland as refugees (or whose parents came as refugees) from places such as Syria, Iraq, and Eritrea.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the provincial capital Leeuwarden has the highest proportion of people with a migrant background, around 18 percent according to De Vries. This proportion also includes students, who are mostly concentrated in the city.