Ethnic Groups In The Netherlands

People walk down a street in Dorcrecht, the Netherlands. Editorial credit: TTStock /
People walk down a street in Dorcrecht, the Netherlands. Editorial credit: TTStock /

The Netherlands is a small densely populated country located in Western Europe. It covers an area of 16,033 square miles with a population of approximately 17 million and borders Germany, Belgium, and the North Sea. Amsterdam is the country’s capital and one of the largest cities. The king is the head of state although he has limited powers while the prime minister is the head of government. Dutch is the country’s official and national language but other ethnic tribes like Frisian and English are used. The people of Netherlands are divided into several ethnic groups, but the Native Dutch are dominant.

Ethnic Groups In The Netherlands


The Dutch are occasionally referred to as Netherlanders native to Netherlands. They share a common culture and language, the Dutch. In the thirteenth century, Netherlands was organized into a single administrative unit by its colonizers. But between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the northern part of the country gained its independence from Spain and became the Dutch Republic. The country grew, and urbanization increased at an early stage of their existence, this left a legacy. The Dutch are also the pioneers of the capitalist mode of economics and various traditional styles as well as architecture. The Dutch are predominantly Christians with also a high percentage of other forms of religion like atheism. They are the largest population in Netherlands making up to 78.3% of the entire population.


Germans invaded the Netherlands at the beginning of the Second World War in 1940 at the decree of Adolf Hitler. After the bombing of Rotterdam, the Dutch forces surrendered, and the royal family escaped the country into London. The country was occupied by the Germans who continued to oppress the native residents of the country. In 1944 more than half the country was liberated and in 1945 the entire country was liberated when the German forces surrendered entirely but continued to occupy the country and manage it. They make up 2.4% of the total population.


The Turks in Netherlands are the native Turks living in the Netherlands making up to 2.3% of the entire Netherlands population. Due to the high immigration in the 1950s, Netherlands faced a problem with a shortage of labor, and there were high unemployment rates in Turkey. Labor had to be imported, and this solved problems in both countries. After some period, a recruitment agreement was signed by both countries.


The Moroccan-Dutch are the immigrants from Morocco to the Netherlands. They are one of the larger immigrants in Netherlands just like the Turks. They came from the Netherlands colony, Morocco, during the treaty agreement signed between the countries. Most workers arrived in the country due to the bilateral treaty that was implemented and at the end of the treaty they did not go back to their original country.

Other Ethnic Groups Of Netherlands

Indonesians in Netherlands have both the Dutch and Indonesian descent ,and form up to 2.1% of the entire population. The Surinamese people in Netherlands came from the Suriname, a former kingdom of the Netherlands. They constitute 2% of the entire countries population. Antillean, Aruban, or the Dutch Caribbean are the immigrants from the Dutch Empire and the Kingdom of Netherlands constituting up to 0.8% of the population. Several other minority groups in the country sum up to 9.9% of the country’s population.

Ethnic Groups In The Netherlands

Rank Ethnic Group Share of Population in the Netherlands
1 Dutch 78.3%
2 German 2.4%
3 Turks 2.3%
4 Moroccans 2.2%
5 Indonesian 2.1%
6 Surinamese 2.0%
7 Antillean, Aruban, or Dutch Caribbean 0.8%
Other Ethnic Groups 9.9%

More in Society