Amsterdam still a mecca for high-earning expatriate professionals

Amsterdam still a mecca for high-earning expatriate professionals

Amsterdam still a mecca for high-earning expatriate professionals

In spite of its problems, Amsterdam is still a favourite for expat opportunities.

Demographic projections by the Amsterdam municipality are suggesting a rise to one million residents by the year 2032, with the projected number for the end of this year now at 873,000. For a city with a totally messed-up housing market, an exorbitant cost of living and soaring competition for a diminishing number of jobs, that’s an awful lot of people. However, it seems the projections aren’t going to stop expatriate career junkies from arriving.

Last year, some 45,000 Amsterdam locals decided to more to smaller cities where they could still afford to buy homes, with the exodus replaced by 38,000 immigrants arriving from the USA, the UK, Germany and India. Some 25,000 of the new arrivals have put down roots in the city. One reason for the increase in expats heading for the Netherlands and Amsterdam in particular is the publicity given to it by surveys such as Mercers, which placed it 12th in a long list of Europe’s most liveable cities. Emphasised were healthcare, infrastructure, low taxes, quality of life, housing and income, all of which are now unavailable to locals who’ve been forced to relocate.

It’s a matter of cultural diversity, with incomers representing the well-educated, high-earning professionals required by multinational companies, with those in the low-to-middle income group being forced to leave their home town as a result. Even Amsterdam’s formerly successful social housing system is now broken due to illegal subletting to expat newcomers with diverse cultural backgrounds. It seems Amsterdam’s bar is being raised to the level of New York, London and Paris, but the local government’s recent attempts to scapegoat the expat community isn’t an answer to the ongoing problem.

Sociologists believe cities need a diverse selection of different socio-economic levels in order to thrive, with many agreeing the city’s attraction for expatriates is a positive development. However, University of Amsterdam experts also believe the smaller municipalities surrounding the historic city should be kept affordable and accessible. Ignoring the problems of over-reliance on one socio-economic class, they say, is not progress as it causes major problems for many more vulnerable residents.

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