More Dutch kids grow up on welfare

(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)(Photo: Ranveig/Dodo / Wikimedia Commons)

The number of children in the Netherlands growing up in a family that receives welfare benefits increased by 2.1 percent to a total of 230 thousand last year, Statistics Netherlands reported on Friday. This number increased every year since 2012. 

More than two thirds of children who lived on welfare last year had an immigration background. Half of this group fall under the "other non-western category", compared to 39 percent in 2012. In this category the stats office includes all non-western countries except Morocco, Suriname, Turkey, Aruba and the former Dutch Antilles. 

The number of kids with a background in one of the "other non-western" countries who lived in welfare families last year increased by nearly 10 thousand to 78 thousand. Statistics Netherlands attributes this increase to the influx of refugees from Syria and Eritrea. The number of kids in welfare families from Somalia and Afghanistan decreased. 

The duration that kids in the Netherlands live on welfare is also increasing. Last year there were 114 thousand children in families that received welfare benefits for more than three years, an increase of 4,400 children. That is about half of all kids living in welfare families. The number of kids in families that received welfare benefits for 1 to 3 years increased with 3,800 to 74 thousand. The kids in families on welfare for less than a year decreased by 300 to 4,200.

The municipality of Rotterdam has the highest proportion of children growing up on welfare with 17 percent. Heerlen comes in second place with 14,5 percent, followed by Groningen with 13.8 percent and Amsterdam with 13.5 percent.