The Netherlands

  • Josine Junger-Tas
  • Majone Steketee
  • Marit Moll


The Netherlands is a small country in northwest Europe, lying on the border of the North Sea and facing England. Although its land area may be compared to that of countries such as Belgium and Switzerland, the country has a relatively large population of 16 million inhabitants, making the Netherlands the most densely populated country of the European Union. Ten per cent of the population belongs to an ethnic minority, with Surinam, Turkey and Morocco being the minority origins most represented. Other growing groups include people from Asia (China, Afghanistan, Iraq), Africa (Ghana, Somalia) and the former Yugoslavia. Most of them live in one of the four large cities; consequently, half of the people below age 15 belong to a minority group within those cities. The Dutch population is somewhat younger than those in the rest of the European Union, with the exception of Ireland. This statistic can be attributed to the high birth rate, which has resulted in a population growth of 6.4% since 1990, with a substantial percentage (19%) of that population being under the age of 15. This percentage is surpassed only by Ireland, where 23% of the population is below the age of 15 (Social and Cultural Planning Office, 2001). However, the youth population is declining: 1.5 million were aged 12–18 in 1980, while only about 1.1 million fell into this category in 2000.


Young People Ethnic Minority Delinquent Behaviour Small City Family Composition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawWillem Pompe Institute of CriminologyUtrechtNetherlands

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