Average income in big cities lower than in surrounding suburbs

Woman with a wallet full of euros
Stock image of a woman taking 100-euro notes out of a walletphoto: AntonMatyukha / DepositPhotos

The suburbs around the large cities in the Netherlands have relatively many residents with a high income, while the median income in the cities themselves are largely lower than the national average, according to figures Statistics Netherlands published on Tuesday.

Especially in Utrecht, Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Tilburg the median income is significantly lower than the surrounding municipalities. The same is true to a lesser extent in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Breda and Groningen. Almere is the only one of the 10 largest cities in the Netherlands where the median income in the city hardly differs from that in the surrounding municipalities. 

Eight out of the ten largest cities have a lower median income than the national average of 25,500 euros. Only Almere and Breda are just above the national average. 

For this study Statistics Netherlands did not look at the average income, but the median income. This is calculated by ranking the incomes from high to low. The median income is the level where exactly the same number of households have an income above and below that level. 

The Dutch municipalities with the highest median income are mainly located in the west of the country. The biggest exception is Rozendaal in Gelderland, which has the highest median income in the Netherlands at 36,700 euros. Bloemendaal comes in second place with 34,700 euros, followed by Laren and Oegstgeest both at 32,300 and Heemstede with 32,200 euros. 

The municipalities with the lowest median income all have a large number of student residents. Groningen has the lowest median income in the Netherlands with 18,400 euros, followed by Wageningen with 20,100 euros, Nijmegen with 20,300 euros, and Delft and Rotterdam both with 20,500 euros. 

Calculated using the so-called Gini coefficient, income inequality in the Netherlands is relatively small at 0.29 percent. This coefficient is higher in the four major cities. The highest income inequality can be found in Amsterdam with a coefficient of 0.37, followed by Utrecht with 0.35, The Hague with 0.34 and Rotterdam with 0.31.