How international is Maastricht? According to the City Council of Maastricht, there were 16,933 non-Dutch residents registered in the city, as of 31 December 2015 — making up 13.8% of the population.
Non-Dutch citizens living in Maastricht come from a diverse range of countries. In fact, 153 nationalities knit together the fabric of Maastricht today. A diversity of languages are also spoken in Maastricht – at least 63. Excluding non-Dutch citizens originating from a country where Dutch is an official language, the most common languages spoken among non-Dutch citizens in Maastricht are German, English and Arabic.
Countries of birth
UNU-MERIT is a microcosm of the diversity of present-day Maastricht. Located in the up-and-coming Sphinxkwartier area of Maastricht, UNU-MERIT hosts more than 100 staff born in 42 different countries. The figures and tables below are based on data drawn from 104 respondents.
Where are we citizens?
Of the 153 nationalities living in Maastricht, at least 41 are represented by our staff. Just under 15 percent of our staff have more than one nationality (15 staff members), the most common second nationality being Dutch (8 staff members). The top 10 nationalities among our staff are Dutch, German, Italian, Belgian, Brazilian, Canadian, Ethiopian, Mexican, UK and US.
Where have we lived around the world?
Our staff have lived in a total of 64 countries for at least six months. This is often to study or work. For example, our researchers conduct extensive fieldwork abroad, spend time visiting partner institutions, go on sabbatical, or engage in consultancy projects overseas.
What languages and dialects do we speak?
The new video clip (above) shows the great diversity of UNU-MERIT — and how we deal not only with the Dutch language but also the Maastricht dialect. Our staff speak a total of 87 languages and dialects. However, many of the spoken dialects among our staff are from Maastricht and surrounding areas.
How long have we lived in the Netherlands?
Many of our staff are PhD fellows coming from a broad spectrum of countries. They usually stay in Maastricht for four years. Some of our staff are cross-border workers commuting to Maastricht from Germany or Belgium as well as from other parts of the Netherlands (including North Holland, South Holland, Brabant and other parts of Limburg). Others live further afield in the UK, the US, Canada, Italy, Pakistan and Ecuador. See the video above for a snapshot of our staff and fellows in 2016.
Research by Elaine McGregor and Madeline Leibin