The Netherlands Falls Victim to Violent Crime

With the recent news that the Dutch goverment will be prosecuting Geert Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom, for hate speech once again, even a cursory review of what is happening in the Netherlands reveals why Wilders is so concerned. His nation is becoming unrecognizable and deteriorating rapidly.

Over the past 20 years, the violent crime rate has increased an astounding 83 percent in the Netherlands. Almost all of this increase took place before 2005 -- indeed, since 2005 there has been a slight decline in the Dutch violent crime rate, but the levels are still astronomical compared to those seen in the early to mid-1990s.

Conventional wisdom among the multicultural/pro-immigration proponents would be to blame the increase on poor economic conditions. This explanation would not hold up under scrutiny.

Between 1993 and 1995, the Dutch unemployment rate increased sharply but the violent crime rate was essentially unaffected. From 1995 to 2011, the unemployment rate fell from 7.1 percent to just 2.5 percent, and the violent crime rate exploded upwards. Since 2008, the jobless rate has increased rapidly, but the violent crime rate has declined modestly -- albeit still at nearly twice 1993 levels.

Real per capita GDP has fallen 5 percent since 2008, and violent crime also declined, whereas from 1993 to 2005 the real per capita GDP increased by almost 30 percent while the violent crime rate also increased 111 percent. Attempting to assign causation for an increasing violent crime rate on increased per capita wealth generation would be inconsistent with the general experience among wealthy nations over this time frame (aka, invalid).

Changes in income inequality also won't explain the massive increase in the Dutch violent crime rate during the last two decades. The income shares for the top 10 percent and top 1 percent have hardly changed over this period.

What has changed in a consistent manner with the Dutch violent crime rate is the percentage of population that is classified as "international migrant stock" (immigrants and refugees).

The migrant stock data is only available in five-year intervals -- placing the last data point in 2010. But the correlation is compelling, particularly when economic indicators fail to coherently correlate with the crime rate trend.

High rates of net immigration seem to be disrupting the social fabric of the Netherlands -- exactly as  Wilders has been saying for many years.