This is the second year in a row that a lower number of young people moved to university towns. Even though the number of relocations actually increased for all other age groups in 2016. From July to October, some 46,000 young people moved to a different municipality in the Netherlands. This total is 4 percent lower than in the same period the preceding year. Last year the decrease amounted to 14 percent. This becomes clear from figures published this Monday by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

At 7 percent, the decrease is most pronounced among 19-year-olds. The 2016 figures are furthermore distorted by the relatively high number of Syrian immigrants who moved house within the Netherlands. If they are not included in the tally, the total decline would be 7 percent among 17 to 22-year-olds, and as much as 10 percent among 19-year-olds.

Fewer young people are moving to university towns

Virtually every Dutch university town recorded a decrease in the number of young people registering at its municipality. The largest decrease – of 25 percent – could be seen in Utrecht, which saw over 700 fewer young people moving to the city than the year before. Amsterdam (14 percent) and Tilburg (13 percent) also saw a substantially lower influx of 17 to 22-year-olds. In Rotterdam the decrease amounted to 9.2 percent. A total of 1,922 young people registered in Rotterdam in 2016 – nearly 200 fewer than the previous year. The only municipalities that actually saw an increase in the number of young people moving in were Eindhoven (4.9 percent) and Leiden (4.6 percent).

Loan system

Between July and October 2015, the number of young people moving to one of the Dutch university towns actually declined across the board. This period marked the start of the first academic year in which first-year students no longer received a basic student grant. CBS suggests the introduction of the new loan system could possibly explain the lower number of young people moving to university towns.