Journal of Population Research

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 47–72 | Cite as

A demographic history of the Indo-Dutch population, 1930–2001

  • Evert van ImhoffEmail author
  • Gijs Beets


Indonesia was a Dutch colony until 1949. In the aftermath of World War II and the independence of the former Dutch East Indies, many people migrated from Indonesia to the Netherlands or other Western countries. This migrant population, known as the Indo-Dutch population, consists of Europeans, Asians, and persons of mixed European-Asian blood. These groups have all associated themselves with and experienced the colonial culture of the former Dutch Indies, and have carried this cultural experience elsewhere through migration. This paper provides a demographic history of the Indo-Dutch population, using a variety of data sources and methods. Starting from the population of ‘Europeans’ according to the 1930 census of the Dutch Indies, a demographic projection is made covering the period 1930–2001. By the beginning of 2001, the estimated number of Indo-Dutch persons is 582,000, including the second generation. Of these 582,000, an estimated 458,000 are living in the Netherlands and 124,000 elsewhere. The composition by age, sex and generation very clearly reflects the demographic history of the population.


Indonesia Netherlands decolonization war ethnicity migration flow migrant assimilation demographic projections mixed marriage history 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)The HagueNetherlands

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