Dutch mostly positive about the Netherlands: study

Dutch flag (Photo: Ninane/Wikimedia Commons). (Dutch flag (Photo: Ninane/Wikimedia Commons))

Even though Dutch people like to grumble when things do not go their way, the population is generally pretty satisfied about the country, according to a study I&O Research did on behalf of newspaper AD. The survey among more than 6 thousand Dutch found that while there are concerns about contradictions in society, most are positive about the Netherlands' future, AD reports.

"I think we overestimate the discontent in the country", researcher Peter Kanne said to the newspaper. "Only 14 percent of the Dutch indicate that they are disappointed with the Netherlands." 37 percent are hopeful and 49 percent are neutral. "But also the middle group tends to be more hopeful than disappointed."

The group of hopeful Dutch are worried mostly about the coarsening of society, norms and values and problems in healthcare. But they see the glass as half full. The majority of Dutch are active in society despite concerns, think that parliamentarians are generally trustworthy and respect those who govern the country. 

According to the researchers, the fact that this large group of voters are worried about norms and values explains why almost all parties added "how we treat each other" to their campaigns for the parliamentary elections in March. And that optimistic voters on average attach more value to sustainability and education explains why GroenLinks and D66 are doing so well in the polls, Kanne said to the newspaper. Optimistic Dutch vote for GroenLinks, D66 and VVD more often than average. 

The disappointed group are mostly worried worried about problems in healthcare and the arrival of asylum seekers and immigrants. This group generally has less confidence in politics. According to the study, the disappointed group consists mostly of people with lower levels of education, though 7 percent of highly educated also stated that they are disappointed in the Netherlands. 

The group of disappointed Dutch are less likely to vote, but if they do they most often vote PVV (43 percent), SP (9 percent) and 50Plus (7 percent). 

A recent study by social and cultural planning office SCP also found that the Dutch population is generally hopeful and optimistic, according to the newspaper. And the number of positive people is increasing. Six months ago 28 percent of the Dutch population believed the country is going in the right direction, now it is 37 percent. People are optimistic because of the positive economic outlook and falling unemployment. Though the majority of citizens remain concerned about the coarsening of society, refugees and healthcare.