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Saturday 20 December  
Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders
Heleen Sittig's picture
The Hague, Netherlands
The Hague, Netherlands

Immigrants cost the Netherlands 7.2 billion euros a year

Published on : 20 May 2010 - 3:00pm | By Heleen Sittig (Photo: ANP)
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The influx of non-Western immigrants is costing Dutch society 7.2 billion euros per year, research commissioned by anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders has shown. The research was carried out for his far-right Freedom Party by the Nyfer economic research unit.

Who are considered non-Western immigrants?
Statistics Netherlands defines "non-Western immigrants" as people born in Africa, Latin America, Asia or Turkey, or at least one of whose parents was born there. Most such immigrants come to the Netherlands from Turkey, Morocco, Surinam.
People from the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, who are formally Dutch citizens, are also included in the non-Western immigrant statistics.

What did Nyfer look into?
The independent institute investigated the budgetary consequences of the influx of non-Western immigrants. The effect of immigration on public-sector finance was derived by
calculating the net contribution of immigrants to the public sector during their entire life, or during their stay, as the case may be.

The effects on the labour market and the housing market were not included in the calculations even though they ultimately have economic consequences. The non-economic effects of immigration, too, were left out of the analysis.

Nyfer concludes that there are many long-term positive effects of immigration, as the second-generation migrants tend to make up for some of their disadvantages. This development takes time and could not be factored into the research.

The researchers say that immigrants are relying more on public services and are paying less in taxes and premiums than the average native Dutch person. They also receive more social security payments and are often on inability or unemployment benefit. Other costs are incurred by the over-representation of immigrants in crime.

Mr Wilders says the research results are shocking. The subject is a hobbyhorse of the right-wing populist leader. Last year, he asked the cabinet for a calculation of the costs of immigration. The then integration minister, Eberhard van der Laan, whose Labour Party has since left the government, refused to give Mr Wilders the information. The Freedom Party leader then commissioned the Nyfer bureau research.

Mr Wilders says he is glad that tax payers are at long last being given an insight into what happens to their money. He claims that the Nyfer figures confirm the need for measures proposed by his party, such as stopping immigration from Islamic countries and restricting immigration from elsewhere.

Not economic goods
Labour leader Job Cohen has responded by saying he would "never take the costs of a human being, whether immigrant or native, as a starting point for any policies". He says Mr Wilders is "once again demonstrating that he is in favour of a totally different kind of country". The Labour leader says he wants the Netherlands to be a country "where it's not your origins that matter, but rather your future".

A similar response came from the leader of the D66 democrats, Alexander Pechtold, one of Mr Wilders' fiercest opponents. Mr Pechtold believes that "people are not economic goods with a profit-and-loss account".


LatinAmerican-Dutch 28 August 2012 - 3:36am / Colombia

I am half South American and Half Dutch. I can’t believe we are so hated in the Netherlands! Like we are half monsters. Then please if you are Dutch don’t come to Latin America. We don’t want you here if you cannot tolerate non Germanic blonde blue eyed people! We certainly don’t want you here, go to trade in Asia. We don’t want to trade or share our resources with racist and xenophobic people like you. Even take Shell and all your companies out of here. It’s a shame this happens in the 21 century. Shame on you!

Anonymous 9 February 2012 - 10:41pm / Sweden

Wake up North of Europe! Search on Lebanon on wiki.
75 years ago an open Christian Country, today a country with a muslim majority with islamic laws. Time goes fast, what kind of country do you want to leave for your children?

TOTOL KANTI CHY 1 January 2012 - 9:27am / Bangladesh

I like Netherlands. How can I go there as an immigrant

Anonymous 29 June 2011 - 3:48pm / Texas

Is "The NYFER Report a farce" as Donny2811 states? Perhaps. But I blame the Dutch government. Mr. Wilders requested the cabinet produce such a report. It the government had produced such a report, hopefully it would have been more balanced, but would probably still have shown a negative impact. Instead of producing such a report and being slightly embarrassed, the Dutch government has allowed Mr. Wilders to produce his own independent report and now they are having to try and refute it. Never let your opponent draw the first line in the sand; it makes your job far harder.

Claudio Valliere 25 March 2011 - 6:09pm

So I simply state you come up with quite a few outstanding points and I will submit a number of creative ideas to add to shortly.

Anonymous 28 May 2010 - 12:42pm / Lalaland

What were the costs of Dutch colonialism , ransacking ,plundering and piracy in the world? They outweigh for sure any other expenses made by the Dutch uncles in these days.

Deebo 26 May 2010 - 8:31pm

Every industrialized country is facing the problem of filling low paying jobs and competing in the global economy. Free trade may make goods cheaper but the long term consequences of having to import foreign workers and embolden countries like China & India will change us forever. Do we have the fortitude to protect our way of life?

Abdul Okaka 26 May 2010 - 8:01pm

The internet, it appears, is the last refuge of anonymous and bigoted scoundrels.

Anonymous 26 May 2010 - 10:22am / Amsterdam

Let me get this right, these guys worked out that those who the poorest section of society 'costs' the most? In other words: the poorer you are, the more likely you are to need/use benefits ... this is rocket science, isn't it?

Cole 26 May 2010 - 2:06pm / EU

But these cost are based on the country's immigration policies. And as they stand these cost will only go up!

And whatever Dutch natives feel or don't feel they are stuck paying the majority of the costs!

M Graves 23 May 2010 - 11:41pm / Canada

People should be prepared to change when they decide to immigrate, they should be prepared to adjust to their new country and culture. Leave behind your old ways and adopt your new country, or do not immigrate

presley 23 May 2010 - 2:43am / us

Watch out Holland...your lunch is being eaten and will soon render an empty plate. How naive you are with your intellectual aspirations for all people...even IF they are illiterate and unable to reach the standards for a worker who can pay into the system. Are you all still guilty about yout Imperialism? Get over it!! You have a fine country and the "white" Dutch...God forbid I use that word, were THE founding Fathers of your country. Where were the Morrocans when you fought in WW2 or were at war with are a contry of white DUTCH speaking people...dont apologize to the ignorant masses who want your goodies for nothing!! Some American states have become the welfare soup kithcens for the losers from other countries who have no intention of ever becoming Americans....they raise their own flags, send billions home to their poor relatives and never learn the language. for God's sake...or Allahs as your case may be now, WAKE UP!!!!

Anonymous 23 May 2010 - 9:38pm / USA

Presley! right on! I have seen what is happpening in the States with all the illegal immigrants. They let one in who has a job, but he invites his whole family to come in and now 76 people are living on welfare. They are not at all interested in working.
And others who come here, live 30 to a house and send all their earnings back to their own country. Working for less money, but they don't care, because they still live better than in their own country. But in the meantime the US has $800 billion a year less here. That goes out of the country. I am sure that is happening to Holland as well.
Why don't they go back and fix what is wrong with their own country?

Anonymous 23 May 2010 - 5:00pm / Lalaland

Some people commenting here are just plain racists, fascists or neo-nazis!They never learned to work, think or study. Their plates will be empty soon due to their ignorance and stupidity.We don't have to be what you want us to be.We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

donny2811 21 May 2010 - 2:56pm / NL - Rotterdam

The NYFER Report is a farce for many reasons and the poof staff there know that they obliged to follow the "scope" set up by the bigot Wilders. They basically said so in the comment in the only fashion they could. They may, and probaby do, hate the PVV but as a part of Parliament they have an obligation to do as demanded from them.

NYFER also confirm what we know, the scope was limited and fixed, which for us in the real world means that the report would always report what the PVV (The Wilders Club) always wanted in the first place. There is a gret more on this at and Wilders in general, in English.

Omar van putyn 21 May 2010 - 2:32pm / Mogadisho

This is not a surprise!Most european countries are nation states and would find it hard to accept visible minorities(non white) . So even if the definition of non-western refers to someone being born in non-western countries or their parents, the 2nd 3rd 4th and so on generations would never be referred to as western or dutch.To be dutch means you have a native dutch ancestory or you are white person who is integrated to the dutch society.I dont think whites from South Africa, Tanzania e.t.c would be referred to as non western even if they were born in non western countries. Holland and most of europe are not like US, Canada and would always be polarized with the likes of Wilders.People dont seem to be driven by principles but by culture. In US people dont put emphasis on where someone comes from. Obama wouldnt be a president in country like Holland where the dutchness is reserved for specific people.

Victor Meldrew 21 May 2010 - 10:20am

Nyfer does not say the influx of non western immigrants costs 7.2 billion euros. It says 25,000 non-western immigrants with 25,000 dependents would cost that. So how many non western immigrants are there a year - minus those who leave of course

Angi 21 May 2010 - 10:07am / Netherlands

It would be good to know how much the Netherlands profits a year with its immigrants. I am sure it is MUCH more than what they spend.

Anon 22 May 2010 - 5:21am / U.S.A.

Why are you so sure? The U.S. has millions of illegal aliens. No one knows for sure, but the states that have them know it, because they put out billions in services to the illegals, far more than they collect in taxes. They know what they collect from them and they know what they pay for them. Most illegals are low wage workers who offer to work for less if they can work off the books, not paying any taxes nor demanding any benefits. They crowd the hospital emergency rooms for their free health care. The just don't pay. Period. Under our tax system, where only 53% of the population pays income taxes, these low wage workers would not be paying taxes anyway. Billions are sent back to their home countries, billions that are not spent in the U.S. which would help our economy. The identity fraud is rampant, as illegals steal identities of Americans to order products which they do not pay for, the bill goes to the person whose identity is stolen. There are so many ways the illegals cost us far more than they contribute to our economy. HOw do you know the same things aren't happening in NL?

Anonymous 22 May 2010 - 8:07pm / Lalaland

We are here not talking about illegal aliens, better said undocumented aliens.We comment about the costs of immigrants in the Netherlands and Europe in general. Many undocumented aliens in the U.S, work hard and pay taxes, not all are bad, fraudulent and malicious. Generalizing is easy but it does reflect the real situation.
Many undocumented aliens are hard working individuals who are an asset to the U.S. economy, and not scumbags, hoodlums and criminals who are depleting and destroying the US economy. it is ok to deport or remove undocumented criminals, but not all undocumented aliens belong to that category.

shahrukh khan 20 May 2010 - 10:42pm / morocco

to geert wilders it's too late i only want to say that we are stronger than our fears and greater than our limits more than just a name.and somthing else? u should make dicsion or ur plan about economic not with immgrants poeple .don't forget that u r arbic person also.

Anonymous 20 May 2010 - 4:23pm / Lalaland

This all about throwing around numbers to discriminate and disenfranchise immigrants. What about the costs for the "guestworkers" who were paid minimum and minimal loans and had to work long hours in terrible circumstances and who were treated like slaves, and that for many years? To hell with Wilders and his gang of hoodlums and fascists!

David Berridge 20 May 2010 - 4:07pm / Canada

Geert is throwing in his last card of the game with this study. Why did he not use this study at the beginning of the electoral campaign in order to tie immigration with the national economy? Geert is too late with this sort of incomplete "shock therapy" meant to scare voters and leave not enough time to determine the full scientific validity of the work, or to debate its consequences.Besides, what does all this have to do with the euro crisis? If anything, immigration has not been the cause of Europe's financial woes anymore than the annual operating budget of RNW, which Geert claims to directly affect the financing and availabilty of health care in the Netherlands. The much larger and significant issues are deliberately being ignored by the PVV because it has no realistic policies on them, nor could they ever gain EU co-operaion on how to manage a working relationship. All this study amounts to is a flimsy face saving exercise designed to save Geert from the enormous disappoints he will have to present to his core following.

Cole 26 May 2010 - 2:53pm

Wilders did!! He asked for the numbers in Parliament long before anyone knew there was going to be an election. It was only because the information was withheld ~ that he employed an independent firm to compile the report.

The statistics on the cost of non-western immigration have been concealed since around the 1980's. These are public figures. One Dutch student working on his masters stated the same. He said he found it very difficult to find these figures in the public records.

Does the immigration policy in Holland need to change ~ yes. The Danish also did an account of how much their immigrants were costing them every year, and back in 2002 they placed restrictions on the mainly marriage immigration practise ~ that brings most Muslims into Europe.

In the US for ex, immigration cost figures are in the public domain. It doesn't have to be a conspiracy.

Likely this election will produce a party or coalition that will make significant alterations to Dutch immigration policy.

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