Friday, December 11, 2015 - 08:23
Dutch satisfied with life; no fear of Islam, migrants or divorce
People living in the Netherlands are generally satisfied with their lives, but somewhat concerned about the future, according to the report The Social state of the Netherlands 2015 by the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau. According to the report, there was no further deterioration in the quality of life for most Dutch. The researchers also looked at a number of themes and how they developed over the past 10 years. The first thing they looked at is the perceived growth of Islamophobia and xenophobia. And found that this is a myth. Between 2004 and present, the Dutch population became more positive about foreigners and Islam, according to the SCP report. In 2004 some 47 percent of the Dutch thought that there are too many foreigners living in the Netherlands. That has now dropped to 36 percent, though there has been a slight increase over the past two years. An increasing number of marriages end in divorce. In 2013, 38 percent of marriages ended in divorce, compared to 32 percent in 2003. The SCP also noticed that there is less inclination to get married. Two years ago 3.8 per 1,000 inhabitants got married, compared to 5.0 per 1,000 in 2003. The number of single person households is increasing faster than the number of multi-person households. Of the more than 7.6 million households in the Netherlands, 37 percent are single person households, 29 percent are multi-person households without children, 34 percent are households with kids and 7 percent are single parent families. Most Dutch are in good health and the life expectancy is increasing. This goes hand in hand with the aging population - the proportion of over 65 year olds in the Netherlands is currently almost 18 percent, compared to 13.6 percent in 2002. The researchers also found that the purchasing power is increasing, though is still not completely back to pre-crisis levels for many groups. The population's education level keeps increasing, especially among women. The labor market is moving on many fronts - strong growth in temporary work and elderly labor participation is growing slowly. And easily preventable crime is decreasing even further, according to both citizens and the police. The number of vulnerable citizens is stable at a fifth of the population, after years of growth. Social involvement is changing in character. More people are involved at a local level. The number of volunteers and classic forms of political involvement decreased somewhat during the past years.