Finding Information on Dutch Migration

During my master thesis in which I analyzed Dutch internal migration, I noticed is that Dutch migration data is not located in just one single data set. With this short blog post I hope to give you a short overview of available Dutch migration data, and give you a head start in doing Dutch migration research of your own.

External migration

Statistical information about migration from the Netherlands to other countries is aggregated on a municipal level, and available online for every year since 1988. This information can be found in this Statistics Netherlands data set. The Dutch National Archives have a Dutch research guide on earlier migrant flows, has an English explanation on 19th century sources for external migration. While Dutch, also has an extensive list of online sources providing information about Dutch emigration.

Internal migration

Statistical information about migration between every combination of two Dutch municipalities is available online for every year since 1996 at Statistics Netherlands (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011+). Less fine-grained data is available for every year since 1988 in this data set . Considering this 2016 publication on the quality of the addresses which shows that an estimated 96.4% of all Dutch citizens were registered at the house they actually lived in, we can expect these numbers to be quite correct.

Older information about migration between Dutch municipalities can be acquired through analysis of the “registers voor ingekomen personen” and “registers voor uitgaande personen”. Aggregated results can be found in the yearly “gemeenteverslagen”, municipal reports. However, note that it would take time to gather all the information, as this information is still mostly kept in the offline archives.

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