Syrian children (Photo: Trocaire/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Syrian children (Photo: Trocaire/Wikimedia Commons)
Tuesday, 23 August 2016 - 09:54
Refugees bring increase in welfare children in Netherlands
Last year the number of children growing up in families on welfare benefits increased from 223 thousand to 226 thousand, an increase of 1.3 percent, according to Statistics Netherlands. The statistics office attributes the increase mainly to Syrian refugees now living in the country. According to Statistics Netherlands, the number of children growing up in welfare families decreased in all ethnic groups, except the "other non-Western" category. In that group the number of welfare children increased by over 8,300 to 69 thousand. The vast majority of that increase - 7 thousand - consists of Syrian children. While the number of children growing up on welfare benefits increased, the number of families receiving welfare benefits remained about the same. That indicates that on average welfare families had more children. Moroccan families and families falling in the "other non-Western" group living on welfare had more children than average. 41 percent of welfare families with four children fall under the latter group, and 55 percent of welfare families with five children. Of the 226 thousand kids growing up on welfare, almost 18 thousand live in a household with four or five children in the "other non-Western" ethnic category - that is nearly 8 percent of all the welfare children in the Netherlands. Of the Syrian families receiving welfare benefits, 34 percent have two kids, 25 percent have three kids and 15 percent have for or more children. Most children in welfare families live in the larger cities. Rotterdam comes in first place with 18 percent of the welfare children, followed by Heerlen, Amsterdam and Groningen with 14 percent each.