Tuesday, 3 June 2014 - 16:19
Spending down, disposable income up: CBS
Despite a slump in the economy, the average family has more to spend now than a couple of decades ago. Comparatively, household incomes were 15 percent higher in 2012 than in the early 90s, and 20 percent higher than the 70s, according to research from the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS). Disposable income for families is less now than before the crisis at the end of 2008, but the drop in earnings over the last few years is low, relative to the long term, the CBS calculates. "Of course we have become slightly poorer because of the crisis, but if you look at it from a distance, then the Netherlands is still a prosperous country", says CBS-economist Peter Hein van Mulligen. Disposable income for households amounted to €33,200 on average in 2012. This is almost equal to the period around 2005. According to the CBS, the increase in double-income families has helped make more money available for spending. Nowadays, more women are active in the labor market, which means extra income for families. Single mothers are less likely to be dependent on benefits because they are able to work more easily. Income inequality is relatively low in the Netherlands, and has been so for several years, according to the report. Differences between high and low incomes remain small according to European measurements. It is mainly a difference between the old and the young. Where older working people have more money to spend, and more value in their home, young people are saddled with relatively high mortgages. Inflation and the definition of the average family has been taken into consideration with the CBS research. An average family in 1977 was made up of three people. In 2012 it was two people.