Demographic Decline: More Deaths than Births Recorded in The Netherlands in First Since Records Began

For the first time since records began in 1900, more people died in The Netherlands than were born in 2022, according to the nation’s official statistician.

In a stunning example of Western demographic decline, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) of The Netherlands reported that last year the birth rate fell below the death rate, with 168,000 babies born compared to 169,000 deaths. The number of births declined by 11,000 over the previous year, putting the rate of 1.49 children per woman on par with historically low birth rates in the 1980s.

The official statistician agency noted that this was the first time deaths have outpaced births since records began in 1900 and that even during World War II there were still more babies born than deaths. The CBS suggested that the Chinese coronavirus likely played some role, however, that did not explain the full story.

“We have seen that births have been declining for years and that mortality is also increasing, but that mortality has been somewhat higher in the past three years due to corona,” Dick ter Steege of CBS told the NOS public broadcaster.

“So in that sense, this dip could be temporary. If the excess mortality is over next year, the number of babies will be slightly higher than the number of people who die,” he added.


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