Stats show big rise in Netherlands homelessness

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The number of homeless people in the Netherlands increased by 13 thousand to 31 thousand people over the past six years. That is an increase of 74 percent between 2009 and 2015, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands on Thursday.

Some 13 thousand of the homeless people are of a non-Western minority. Over the past six years the number of homeless people in this group doubled, from 6.5 thousand in 2009. The number of native Dutch homeless people increased by 5.5 thousand in this period.

Statistics Netherlands did not study the reason for the massive increase, but it does seem to be linked to the financial crisis. The strongest increase in the number of homeless people happened between 2009 and 2010, the first years after the crisis hit.

"This indicates that a group was on the brink of poverty before the crisis", Jan Latten, chief demographer at Statistics Netherlands, said to news wire ANP. "Those people lost their jobs and could not pay their rent. In good times these people manage to just save it, if it is economically heavy weather, they are the first victims. And it's been hard time's."

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