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The number of inhabitants of the four largest Dutch cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, has stabilised since the mid-1980s. This stability in population size, however, hides considerable dynamics in population composition, especially regarding ethnicity, household type and socio-economic status. In this paper, we focus on the influence of international migration and residential migration flows on changing ethnic population structure. A selective residential outflow of natives and influx of foreigners, together with higher natural growth of ethnic minority groups, have contributed to very fast changes in ethnic composition of the four largest Dutch cities. The latest national population forecasts of Statistics Netherlands in December 2004 indicate an ongoing influx of foreign population groups into the Netherlands for the decades to come, despite the recent more restrictive immigration policy. One can expect from this a continuous international migration towards the large Dutch cities in particular. If the observed trend in native outflow continues, the foreign city population will soon cross the 50 per cent mark.
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Keywords: Selective migration; ethnic minorities; large cities; population dynamics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: AMIDSt, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Prinsengracht 130, 1018 VZ Amsterdam, Netherlands., Email: 2: AMIDSt, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Amsterdam and Statistics Netherlands, PO Box 4000, 2270 JM Voorburg, the Netherlands., Email:

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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