Number of welfare recipients in Netherlands continues to rise

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The number of people in the Netherlands receiving welfare benefits continues to rise, Statistics Netherlands reported on Thursday. Between June 2016 and June 2017, this group increased by 12 thousand people to a total of 472 thousand welfare recipients. The increase is smaller than in previous years, the stats office added.

The number of welfare recipients with a non-western immigration background increased by 16,200 to over 239 thousand in this period. According to Statistics Netherlands, this increase is mainly due to asylum seekers who received refugee status and can therefore apply for welfare. 

The group of welfare recipients with a Dutch or western background decreased by 3,100 and 1,200 respectively between June 2016 and June of this year. In these groups the number of newcomers to welfare is smaller than those who stop their benefits. According to the stats office, this can be attributed to a stronger labor market.

The number of young people under the age of 27 that receive welfare was 5 thousand higher in June than the year before. The number of welfare recipients between the ages of 45 and retirement increased by nearly 8 thousand. Welfare recipients in the middle group - between the ages of 27 and 45 years - decreased by nearly 1,400.