Netherlands Census

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The FamilySearch moderator for The Netherlands is Daniel Jones.

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Census Records and Population Registers[edit | edit source]

In the Netherlands, a census (volkstelling) is a count of the population at a certain point in time. They should not be confused with population registers (bevolkingsregister), which record individuals over a period of time, usually 10 years, and are far more commonly used for genealogy. Censuses in Dutch research may not be as helpful as censuses from other countries because better sources such as church records, civil registration and population registers are available in the Netherlands.

Where available, census records can provide family relationships, ages, years of birth, marital statuses, religions, and places of birth. They can provide information where all or portions of other records are missing. Generally, you will find more complete family information in more recent censuses. Use the information with caution, however; it may have been given to a census taker by any member of the family or a neighbor, and so some information may have been incorrect or deliberately falsified.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

18th Century Records[edit | edit source]

A Frisian census of 1714 is believed to have been taken throughout the region, but only the registers of Franeker and Barradeel survive.There is little data recorded including the names of the household heads and the total of household members subdivided only into those over and under the age of seven.

The 1744 Descriptions of families (Omschrijvinge van familiën) survives complete for the whole of Friesland. Again, there is little data: the names of the household heads and the total persons in the household. An index and images are available at AlleFriezen

The 1748 census for Overijssel survives in its entirety. However, the recording of data was not undertaken in an uniform way: some registers just record the name of the household head whilst others have the names of all the household members.Most records, but not for either Zwolle or Kampen can accessed at the Historisch Centrum Overijssel or at VPND. It has also been filmed by the Family History Library: Overijssel Nederland, Volkstelling, 1748.

The 1749 Frisian Recording of families and persons (Opteekeninge der familiën en persoonen) is also complete but contains only a little more information than the other early Frisian censuses.

A 1749 provincial census of Gelderland contains more information. Recorded was the name of the household head and his occupation; wives are recorded without names as 'his wife' and children and servants are recorded only in total although children are subdivided by age in spans of 5 years. Various tax data is also recorded.

Inspired by the French revolution and following the disastrous war against the English, Dutch revolutionaries overthrew the old regime in 1795. The new democratic regime sought to modernise administrative arrangements and undertook a census in parts of the country in 1795. Those records which survive are held by the relevant provincial archive. Records for some places can be found on VPND

1811 Registre Civique[edit | edit source]

The modern era of Dutch population record keeping began under French occupation. In 1811, civil registration begins and the introduction of adult male suffrage under the Code Civil (or Code Napoleon) resulted in the creation of a voters' list (registre civique) by the local authorities (mairie) usually with a copy forwarded to the department. These census substitutes will be found in the municipal and provincial archives.

Decennial Censuses 1829 - 1930[edit | edit source]

A national census was conducted by the Ministry of Home Affairs from 1829 to 1889, then by Statistics Netherlands from 1899 to 1930.

Post War Censuses[edit | edit source]

Three national censuses were undertaken by Statistics Netherlands (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek - Central Agency for Statistics) in 1947, 1960 and 1971. This approach was abandoned in favour of a new model: in 1981 and 1991 a "virtual census" was undertaken based on data in the Population Registers and surveys.

Finding Census Records[edit | edit source]

Online[edit | edit source]

Census records can be difficult to find online. Some specific websites contain census records; GeneaKnowHow is always a good place to try. Post-1811 census records are sometimes included in the FamilySearch record collection Netherlands Census and Population Registers, 1574-1940.

Census Records at the Family History Library[edit | edit source]

The Family History Library has copies of many census records. These are listed in the “Locality Search” section of the catalog under:


An index of surnames for the 1947 national census has been published. There is a volume for each province and also one for the cities of Amsterdam, ’s-Gravenhage, and Rotterdam. To find these books, look in the “Locality Search” section of the catalog under:



External Links[edit | edit source]

Aggregated Census Data[edit | edit source]

Documents were compiled from abstracted data collected in a census. This statistical information may be accessed at Dutch Censuses 1795-1971.