Dutch elderly vital, healthy and active

Beach chairs, Eastern Scheldt, Ouwerkerk, Schouwen-duiveland, Zeeland
Beach chairs looking out on the Eastern Scheldt from along the Nieuwendijk in Ouwerkerk, Schouwen-duiveland, Zeeland. July 2018photo: joophoek / DepositPhotos

The Netherlands' current generation of over 65-year-olds are relatively healthy, active and vital, according to a Statistics Netherlands report on trends in the Netherlands. The stats office calls this an important development, ANP reports.

Life expectancy continues to increase, according to the latest figures. Men who are currently 65 years old can expect to live another 19 years on average, women 21 years. That is a life expectancy increase of 3.5 years for men and two years for women, compared to 20 years ago. Dutch now also live longer in good health - compared to 20 years ago, men can now look forward to another three healthy years, women to two. 

Dutch elderly also live independently for longer, according to Statistics Netherlands. And they exercise more. People between the ages of 65 and 75 cycle an average distance of 2.6 kilometers a day. The only age group that cycles more is young people between the ages of 12 and 25. Last year 15 percent of 65- to 75-year-olds still belonged to a sport club and about a quarter of people older than 75 said they exercise weekly. 

Another important trend in Statistics Netherlands' report is an increase in flexible employment. In 2016 there were 1.8 million people on flexible contracts in the Netherlands, compared to 1.1 million in 2003. In the same period the number of temps more than doubled. According to the stats office, a third of flex workers appreciate the flexibility of their work. The majority, however, state that they do flex work out of necessity.