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Migrants: Dutch in the UK

The topic of immigration has long dominated the headlines in the UK.  Despite what some are lead to believe, immigration has been a topic of discussion in Great Britain for almost a century.  The UK has an incredibly rich and diverse culture. A great deal of the cultural diversity is a direct result of the influence of immigrants.

In previous TransferGo blog posts we have highlighted some of the more famous immigrants to the UK and their achievements.  The majority of immigrants to the UK do not go on to be world famous in their field.  However all contribute to the economic and cultural growth of the country.

In a new series of blog posts, we will be looking at immigrants to the UK from specific countries. For our first post we will look at the Dutch in the UK.

Except for a brief bit of history over four hundred years ago, the Dutch and the British have been close allies culturally, politically, and financially.  This long, close relationship no doubt contributes to the UK being home to the largest number of Dutch nationals in Europe. About 40% of the Dutch nationals live in London and the South East.  Woking has seen substantial growth in its Dutch population, as has Banchory near Aberdeen.

Recent estimates by the Office for National Statistics put the figure of Dutch migrants who live in the United Kingdom at 56000 for 2013. More specifically, the 2011 Census recorded 57,439 Dutch-born residents in England, 1,642 in Wales,[ 4,117 in Scotland and 515 in Northern Ireland.

The proximity of the two countries is seen as one reason for the UK’s popularity with Dutch nationals as travel between the two is convenient by the Eurostar, train, ferry, or plane.

Work and business also plays a major roll. More than 60% of EU citizens migrate to the UK for work-related reasons. Royal Dutch Shell and Unilever are joint British/Dutch businesses. Dutch workers can also be found in a number of other businesses across the UK.

The first influx of Dutch immigrants to Britain occurred in the late 1500s as Dutch Protestants fled religious persecution.  Dutch artists, scholars, business leaders, and workers have been a part of British society ever since.

Some of the more notable Dutch immigrants in the modern era include:

  • Charlene de Cavalho-Heineken who owns 25% of Heineken International – According to Forbes, the Dutch-English businesswoman is one of the richest women in the UK.
  • Audrey Hepburn – Hepburn was known for her classic movie roles, which earned her international fame. Hepburn’s mother was a Dutch aristocrat. During World War II, the future film icon worked with the Dutch resistance.
  • Jane Seymour – The critically acclaimed film and television star’s mother was a Dutch protestant, who was a prisoner of war during WWII.
  • Devon van Oostrum and Nigel van Oostrum – Both of the brothers are professional basketball players. Their father is a professor in the UK.

The close relationship between the UK and the Netherlands means that Dutch citizens living in the UK will find ample resources whilst away from home. The British Library database of Dutch Internet Resources contains hundreds of links to database and search engines. is a great resource for social groups, clubs and organisations.  The Dutch Embassy in London can also provide help for Dutch nationals and can be found on 38 Hyde Park Gate, London SW7 5DP.

TransferGo is pleased that many of the Dutch workers in the UK have selected us to help them send money home to their families or to pay bills.  



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