The population in the major northern cities will continue to grow in the coming years. This development will coincide with a shrinking population in more rural villages, according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
The figures from the national statistical office show that the population in Groningen is likely to increase by 10.2 percent, between now and 2035. By that year, Assen is expected to have 6.4 percent more inhabitants, whilst population numbers will also increase in Leeuwarden (4.2 percent) and Meppel (4.0 percent).
The report suggests that people are leaving the countryside. The Groningen municipalities of Loppersum (-17.7 percent), Delfzijl (-15.7 percent) and Ten Boer (-13.6 percent) in particular are likely to experience a significant decrease. These regions are very much within the ‘earthquake zone’ to the North of the city of Gronignen. The Drents municipality of Noordenveld (-11 percent) is also likely to have considerably fewer inhabitants within a few decades.
According to the CBS, the number of inhabitants of the province of Groningen will increase from around 586,800 to 588,100 inhabitants in 2025, with this growth due mainly to the increase within cities. From 2025, the numbers in the province will decrease to 559,000 in 2050, according to the forecasts. The number of inhabitants in Friesland is likely to fall from 647,800 (2020) to 639,200 in 2035. Drenthe currently has 490,900 inhabitants. In 2035 that is expected to be 485,000.
Across the country, the population is increasing from 17,378,200 (2020) to 18,269,300 in 2035. Ultimately, according to projections in 2050, around 18,527,200 people will live in the Netherlands.