Less educated Dutch do more for the community: study

Elderly lady in a nursing home (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Magnus Fröderberg). (Elderly lady in a nursing home (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Magnus Fröderberg))

Some 90 percent of Dutch sometimes help out someone else, but less educated people do this more than highly educated people. People with lower levels of education are significantly more involved in both more taxing and less taxing help, according to a study by I&O Research, NOS and regional broadcasters, NOS reports.

41 percent of less educated Dutch say they help others on a daily or weekly basis, compared to 28 percent of the highly educated. Less educated people especially do more in the more taxing forms of help, like keeping someone company, helping someone dress and shower. The only category in which highly educated people scored better than less educated people is in offering help with administration, finances and computers. More than half of highly educated sometimes do this. 

The study showed that 58 percent of Dutch would want to do more for others, especially when it comes to less taxing forms of aid like taking the trash out, gardening or taking care of pets. Women are more willing to keep lonely people company, while men are more willing to help with administration, computers and taking the bin out. 

60 percent of the people who do not help others say that nobody asked them for help. Around 20 percent really do not want to help others, according to the researchers.

"It is sometimes refreshing to see the less educated come out ahead", researcher Peter Kanne of I&O Research said to NOS. "In many areas, such as healthy eating, sustainable behavior, and political activity, they often do not look as good. This research shows that people with a lower level of education care better for each other than those with a higher level of education."

On average a third of Dutch do something for someone else on a daily or weekly basis. There are no major regional differences.