Dutch couples prosperous, satisfied and healthy; singles and elderly less so

Holding hands
Holding hands. Photo: Maryam Mgonja / Wikimedia Commons

Couples who live together, especially those without children, are the most often prosperous and most satisfied and healthy people in the Netherlands. Older people, single people and especially single parents with young children score less well on these factors, according to Statistics Netherlands' quality of life study for 2017.

Exactly a third - 33 percent - of the Dutch population have a high quality of life, they're prosperous, healthy and happy. 29 percent are not prosperous, but are still satisfied and healthy. 14 percent are prosperous, but have less well-being. Almost a quarter, 24 percent, of the population are not satisfied with their life and health and have a below average income.

People who live together are most prosperous and most often satisfied and healthy, especially if they don't have children, according to the stats office. These couples often have 1.5 or 2 income households, or one partner can compensate for the low income of the other partner.

Vulnerable groups in this prosperity-wellbeing distribution are people over the age of 65 and single people. About 40 percent of people over the age of 75 who live independently scored low on both prosperity and wellbeing. Many elderly people are no longer economically active and their income is on average lower than people who have paid work. In addition, health declines the older one gets. Though Statistics Netherlands noted that elderly people are satisfied with their lives just as often as young people.

Single people - both young and old - also have a greater chance of a low quality of life. Single parents with young children least often have the combination of above-average prosperity and above-average wellbeing. This group relatively often includes single mothers who receive welfare benefits. Single mothers with a low education level are particularly vulnerable, according to the stats office.

Statistics Netherlands measured prosperity by looking at available disposable income per household. Wellbeing was measured based on a survey people completed on how healthy and satisfied they are. 

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