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Half of all Dutch emigrants return home within eight years

Nearly 5,000 repatriated in six months

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM - Almost 5,000 Dutch emigrants have returned home during the first six months of this year alone, an increase of 600 over the same period last year. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), half of all emigrants return to the Netherlands within eight years of their original departure for a better life elsewhere.

Specialists at a Dutch agency helping Dutch re-migrants settle back into society, recognize two distinct groups. The one consists of retired people who want to return to spend the rest of their lives in their country of birth. The other major group of re-migrants is made up of younger people who are disillusioned about their adventures abroad. Many among them experience a sense of failure over their return home.

Re-migration experts advise prospective emigrants not to burn their bridges in the Netherlands. For one thing, they recommend keeping their homes for the first two years by renting it out instead, so they at least have shelter if they decide to return. Many failures are the result of poorly thought through and executed emigration plans.

Returning seniors often opt for the better-than-average social services in the Netherlands, including health care, old-age pension, and the extended network of public transportation.

Although the CBS has never extensively researched the reasons why emigrants return home, their statistics do show that particularly people who left for such countries as Indonesia and Singapore re-migrate. According to the CBS, re-migration from the U.S. also scores high with more than one out of two, far more than from neighbouring Canada, from where only about thirty percents of emigrants permanently return to the Netherlands.