Navigating faith, love, and life in the Netherlands

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Immigrants to the Netherlands

Contrary to what you might imagine, Dutch people are not all blond and blue-eyed.  (My husband's family members all have brown hair!)

Photo credit here
Whenever I go out to the store or to the center, I encounter people speaking languages other than Dutch or English.  This language might just be Turkish or Arabic, but I am not 100% sure.  Often I see women and younger girls wearing hijabs or head scarves.  There are many Polish people, and last week my husband and I visited a Polish grocery store.

I am reassured that I am not the only foreigner or migrant to the Netherlands, and I enjoy the prospect of learning multiple new cultures -- Turkish, Polish, and others. 

A few months ago, I discovered peoplemovin at, a website that shows statistics for immigrants to and emigrants from each country in the world.  This first figure shows the number of migrants coming TO the Netherlands and their native countries.  For comparison, immigrants make up nearly 14% of the population of the United States.
Taken from
By contrast, this figure shows the number of emigrants LEAVING the Netherlands (from the same website).  

Most of these are western countries, with 4 of the top 10 being English-speaking nations, 2 bordering nations, and a few other European Union nations.  The one that stands out is Turkey, but Turkey is also on the first list of immigrant-sending nations!

Check out the peoplemovin site for yourself and explore the world!

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