News - January 16, 2014

‘Phantom students’ in Wageningen

Albert Sikkema

Foreign students often do not deregister with the municipality when they return home. But now the municipality says it has purged the population register of all the erroneous entries.

Up until recently, the municipality of Wageningen had about 700 phantom inhabitants. These were people who did not deregister with the municipality when they left Wageningen but do not actually live there anymore. The mayor, Geert van Rumund, said this during the municipality’s New Year reception, according to De Gelderlander newspaper.

Wageningen came across the phantom inhabitants during a purge of the population register last year. According to the municipality, these are mainly foreign students at the university who fail to deregister when they return home. They make up the vast majority (75 per cent) of the phantom inhabitants.

Population increased

At the start of this year, the municipality’s population was officially just over 37,500, the same as last year, says De Gelderlander, quoting the mayor during the New Year reception. But the 700 phantom residents were in the population register a year ago, before the purge, whereas they are not any more. So in fact Wageningen’s population increased last year.