Angolans in the Netherlands

Angolans in the Netherlands
Angolezen in Nederland
Total population
9,015 (2009)[1]
Regions with significant populations
Eindhoven, Gilze en Rijen, Nunspeet, Rotterdam, Amsterdam[2]
Roman Catholicism, minority Pentecostalism[3]

There is a small population of Angolans in the Netherlands, largely consisting of refugees from the Angolan Civil War.

Migration history

The Netherlands has no longstanding historical links with Angola. Early Angolan migrants in Europe typically settled in Portugal, the former colonial power in their home country. However, they found it difficult to obtain work there, and also suffered from discrimination. Some thus travelled to other countries, including the Netherlands.[4]

The major draw for Angolan migration to the Netherlands was the relatively generous asylum policy.[4] In the first half of 2001 alone, 1,800 Angolans applied for asylum in the Netherlands, making up nearly half of the total number of Angolan asylum-seekers in the western world.[5] In total, from 1998-2002, more than 10,000 Angolans applied for asylum in the Netherlands.[4] As many as 4,500 of those consisted of unaccompanied minors.[6] Thousands had their claims for asylum rejected and were thus ineligible for residence permits, but had been permitted to delay their departure due to the lack of safety in their home country.[7] In 1999, State Secretary for Justice Job Cohen pushed to have the delay of departure scheme ended; though in his judgment the situation in Angola as a whole was still not safe, Luanda was stable enough to enable Angolans to return.[8]

Before 2002, there was little return migration from the Netherlands to Angola; only ten such individuals were known to the International Organization for Migration.[9] However, in 2003, the number of returnees began to increase sharply.[10] Under the Return and Emigration of Aliens from the Netherlands programme, rejected asylum seekers are eligible for a variety of support including an airline ticket to the airport nearest their return destination, reimbursement of fees paid to acquire travel documents, and a resettlement payment to assist with the initial period after relocation.[11] Unaccompanied minors returning to Angola voluntarily also receive assistance in locating their family, and may also be provided with free temporary accommodation at a reception centre if their family cannot be located or cannot receive them.[9]

There is also some illegal immigration from Angola to the Netherlands. Irregular migrants do not typically make use of people smugglers to enter the Netherlands; they instead get help from their social networks. Such practises have prevented the emergence of large-scale smuggling organisations in Angola.[12]

Demographic characteristics

As of 2009, statistics of the Dutch Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek with regards to people of Angolan origin showed:

  • 6,286 persons of first-generation background (3,705 men, 2,581 women)
  • 2,729 persons of second-generation background (1,336 men, 1,393 women), of which:
    • 815 persons with one parent born in the Netherlands (401 men, 414 women)
    • 1,914 persons with both parents born outside the Netherlands (935 men, 979 women)

For a total of 9,015 persons (5,041 men, 3,974 women). This represented roughly 3.5 times the 1996 total of 2,594 persons. Their total population peaked in 2004 at 12,281 persons and has been in decline since then.[13]


As of 2007, Angolans had established five of their own organisations in the Netherlands, as well as three jointly with Congolese migrants. The latter are unusual in Dutch society, as the two groups share neither a common language (other than Dutch) nor a common country of origin. The organisations generally aim to bring Angolans together and promote their integration into Dutch society, empower Angolan women, provide sex education, and organise social activities and sports competitions. The organisations are generally male-dominated, with as many as 80% of the members being men.[14]

Notable individuals



  1. ^ CBS 2009
  2. ^ Brons & Schaap 2002, p. 15
  3. ^ Laarman 2007, p. 130
  4. ^ a b c Sysling, Fenneke (2007-07-20), "Nederland in trek bij Angolezen/Netherlands in vogue with Angolans", Trouw, retrieved 2009-09-04
  5. ^ "Nederland populairst bij Angolezens/Netherlands most popular with Angolans", Trouw, 2001-09-01, retrieved 2009-09-04
  6. ^ Moleman, Hans (2002-07-02), "Angolese jongeren zien Nederland als paradijs", de Volkskrant, retrieved 2009-10-11
  7. ^ "Kalsbeek: Angolezen terug/Kalsbeek: Angolans, go back", Trouw, 2001-05-30, retrieved 2009-08-04
  8. ^ "Angolese asielzoekers hoeven nog niet terug/Angolan asylum-seekers will not go back", Trouw, 1999-07-02, retrieved 2009-09-04
  9. ^ a b IOM 2006, p. 7
  10. ^ IOM 2006, p. 10
  11. ^ IOM 2006, p. 6
  12. ^ van Wijk 2008
  13. ^ CBS 2009; the year 1996 is the earliest for which statistics are available online
  14. ^ Laarman 2007, p. 136


Further reading

External links

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