Welfare payments support more children in Netherlands

(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)

An increasing number of children in the Netherlands are growing up in a family that needs welfare benefits to get by. Last year nearly 223 thousand children, 6.5 percent of all the kids in the country, were living in a welfare family, compared to 5.2 percent last year.

This is according to figures from the Annual Report Youth Monitor, compiled by Statistics Netherlands on behalf of the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports.

With 18 percent, Rotterdam has the highest percentage of children growing up in a welfare family. Amsterdam, Heerlen and Groningen are in second place with 14 percent, followed by The Hague, Kerkrade, Enschede, Appingedam and Pekela with 12 percent.

Growing up in a welfare family generally means not living with a lot of extra money. 36.7 percent of kids growing up in welfare families do not participate in recreational outdoor activities - such as sports or music lessons - due to financial problems. Among kids with working parents, this is only 4.7 percent. 15.5 percent of welfare kids can't celebrate their birthdays every year because of money problems, compared to 1.4 percent of kids with working parents. And 8.7 percent do not have access to appropriate toys because of financial reasons, compared to 0 percent among kinds with working parents.


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