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Netherlands:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

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Overview Netherlands

Contents

Netherlands:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Netherlands:Historical Development

Netherlands:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Netherlands:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Netherlands:Political and Economic Situation

Netherlands:Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Netherlands:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Netherlands:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Netherlands:Organisation of Private Education

Netherlands:National Qualifications Framework

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Netherlands:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Netherlands:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Netherlands:Funding in Education

Netherlands:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Netherlands:Higher Education Funding

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training Funding

Netherlands:Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Primary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in Primary Education

Netherlands:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Netherlands:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Netherlands:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education (MBO)

Netherlands:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Netherlands:Higher Education

Netherlands:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Netherlands:First Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Bachelor

Netherlands:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Netherlands:Second Cycle Programmes

Netherlands:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Netherlands:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Netherlands:Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Distribution of Responsibilities

Netherlands:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Netherlands:Main Providers

Netherlands:Main Types of Provision

Netherlands:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Netherlands:Teachers and Education Staff

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Management and Other Education Staff

Netherlands:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Netherlands:Management Staff for Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Netherlands:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Quality Assurance

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Netherlands:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Educational Support and Guidance

Netherlands:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Netherlands:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Netherlands:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Netherlands:Mobility and Internationalisation

Netherlands:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Higher Education

Netherlands:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Netherlands:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Netherlands:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Netherlands:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Netherlands:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Netherlands:National Reforms in School Education

Netherlands:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Netherlands:National Reforms in Higher Education

Netherlands:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Netherlands:European Perspective

Netherlands:Legislation

Netherlands:Institutions

Netherlands:Bibliography

Netherlands:Glossary

Demographic situation

On 15 September 2016, the Netherlands has a population of almost 17 million, living in an area of approximately 41.528 km2 (33.881 km2 land). The population density is 502 people per km2. In the Netherlands, there are about 3.7 million (3.752.291) citizens with a migration background (22% of the total population).
The methodology for defining people with a migration background is determined by the country of birth of the parents:

  • A person with a Dutch background is defined as a person with both parents born in the Netherlands.
  • A person with a migration background is defined as a person of which a at least one parent is born abroad.

In the Netherlands, just over one-third (34,8%) of the population is aged between 40 and 65 years old. The table below gives an image of the age distribution of the population in the Netherlands.

Age distribution of the population of the Netherlands

Population by age group 2000 2005 2010 2013
2015
2016
In %


Under 20 years 24.4 24.5 23.7 23.1 22.7
22.5
20 to 39 years  30.0 27.4 25.3 24.6 24.5
24.5
40 to 64 years  32.0 34.1 35.7 35.5 35.1
34.8
65 to 79 years  10.4 10.5 11.4 12.6 13.4
13.8
80 years or older   3.2   3.5   3.9   4.2 4.3
4.4
In number of persons

Total 15.863.950 16.305.526 16.574.989 16.778.025 16.900.726
16.979.120
Under 20 years   3.873.008   3.987.957   3.928.334   3.870.423  3.828.059
3.818.499
20 to 39 years
  4.761.504   4.467.783   4.192.772   4.119.832 4.134.447
4.163.702
40 to 64 years   5.076.996   5.561.116   5.915.555   5.963.523 5.963.523
5.911.611
65 to 79 years   1.652.103   1.715.097   1.890.334   2.121.391 2.121.391
2.336.560
80 years or older      500.339      573.573      573.573      702.856 734.976
748.748

Source: CBS   Employment- and  unemployment rates

  • The unemployment rates decreased in the past three months with 13 thousand per month and amounted in October to 502 thousand, i.e. 5,6% of the working population (2016)
  • The rates of decline from early summer of 2016 continues also in autumn. This is announced by CBS. A the end of October, UWV counted 420 thousand unemployment benefits.
  • The total number of people on the labour market has increased just as in the summer. This means that the number of employed people increases more than the unemployment decreases. People aged 45+ are more likely to get back at work.

Source: CBS

Migration and immigration

On January 1, 2016 , 12,3% of the residents in the Netherlands were non-western, and 9,8% had a western background. Almost half of the persons with a non-western background is born in the Netherlands and belongs therefore to the second generation. For those with a Turkish or Moroccan background, it is even already more than half. However, the second generation is still very young. Whereas the first generation is just as old on average as persons with a Dutch background (43 years), the non-western generation is 18 years old (on average).

Persons with different migration backgrounds do not live equally distributed across the Netherlands. For instance, persons with a non-western background live especially (close to) the four big cities. In Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Hague more than 30 percent of the residents has a non-western background.

The largest group non-western immigrants are formed by Turks (397.471), closely followed by Moroccans (385.761) and Surinamers (349.002). After the Dutch Antilles and Aruba (150.981) the number of other countries of origin decreases rapidly.

2000

2005

2015

2016

'In 'numbers

 

 

Turkey

308.890

358.846

396.555

397.471

Morocco

262.221

315.821

380.755

385.761

Surinam

302.514

329.430

348.662

349.022

Antilles & Aruba

107.197

130.538

148.926

150.981

Other, non-western

427.945

564.407

763.611

813.357

Source: CBS

Education

  • In the third class of secondary education, 52% of the pupils with a Dutch background goes to VMBO, 25% to HAVO and 23% to VWO.
  • Pupils with a Turkish or Moroccan background relatively often  follow VMBO, around three quarter of the pupils, and follow less often VWO.
  • In the third year of secondary education, 65% of the pupils with a Surinam and 69% of the pupils with an Antillean background followed VMBO.
  • Within VMBO, pupils with a non-western background follow relatively more often lower levels in education than pupils with a Dutch background.

Languages

Dutch is the official language in the Netherlands. In addition, the Frisian language is accredited as the second official language in the province Fryslân.

Frisian

  • Frisian and Dutch are the official languages in the province Fryslân.  Frisian citizens have the right to use their own languae (Dutch or Frisian). For example in the courtroom or in contact with the municipality. This  is regulated in the Law use Frisian language.
  • The law also determined how the legal relations administers the oath or affirmation in Frisian. And how Frisian municipalities set up rules and a policy plan for the use of the Frisian language. 
  • Frisian is a standardised language. The province, in consultation with the Fryske Akademy determines the spelling of Frisian.

Lowlands Saxon and Limburger
Lowlands Saxon (in 1996)  and Limburger (in 1997) are recognised as regional languages under the European Charter. Through this recognition, the provinces and municipalities concerned can set their own policy for these regional languages. This encourages the cultural heritage of the Netherlands. For example, they give grants to local drama clubs. Or to regional broadcasters that broadcast partly in these languages.
Limburger and Lowlands Saxon are not standardised languages. For instance, Lowlands Saxon has different variants. Including Gronings, Drenths and Twents.

Jiddisj and the languages of Roma an Sinti
Jiddisj and Sinti-Romanes are recognised as non-territorial languages in 1996 by the Netherlands. The speakers of these languages live across the Netherlands but also in other European countries. For example, Sinti and Roma people also live in our neighbourhood countries.

Languages and education
Since 1 January 2016 it is possible for schools in primary education to give up to 15% of their lessons in another language. Schools do not just offer the subject English, but also the instruction of other subjects in English. Teachers can give their courses like physical education and history for example in English. Bilingual Primary Education (TPO) is used as a test on different schools in primary education. With these tests, they give 30- 50 percent of their lessons in English from the first year - onwards. Consequently, children will learn better how to speak English from a very early age. This pilot project will last untill 2019.

It is regulated that in higher education and adult education and vocational education that education is given in Dutch and that examinations are held in Dutch. Education is provided in Dutch, except:

  • in the case of language education;
  • in the case of guest lectures by foreign-language lecturers, or;
  • if the specific nature, organisation, or quality of the programme, or the origin of the students require otherwise.

Religions

Freedom of religion is enshrined in the constitution. In the Netherlands, there is a separation of church and state, there is no state religion. Among the Dutch population of 18 years and older, 50% regards themselves as member of an religious denomination or a religious group. The issue at stake is the experience of the believer:

  • The Roman Catholics form hereby the largest group (24%)
  • Of the Protestants, 6% is member of the reformed church. 6% is member of the PKN (Protestant Church in the Netherlands), and the other 3% calls themselves Reformed/Calvinist.
  • In addition, around 5% is Muslim
  • 6% has a different religion (Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist).

Publicly and privately-funded education exist side by side in the Netherlands. Publicly-funded education has a neutral foundation unrelated to any particular religious or ideological doctrine. In privately-run institutions, on the other hand, the teaching and ethos may be based on religious, ideological, social or educational principles.

Source: CBS