Dutch often have wrong perception about Netherlands: study

Crowded train station in the Netherlands
Crowded train station in the NetherlandsIijjccooWikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

Dutch people often misjudge important facts about the Netherlands. The Dutch population's perception about immigration, unemployment and climate change figures, among others, is far wrong, according to the study Perils of Perception by Ipsos. The research agency interviewed citizens from 37 countries. In none of the countries did the citizens estimate figures correctly, RTL Nieuws reports.

Immigration is greatly overestimated in most countries. The Dutch think that a quarter of the population are immigrants - not born in the Netherlands. In reality only 12 percent of the Dutch population are immigrants. The number of Muslims is also overestimated by the population of all countries, except Turkey. The Dutch think that 20 percent of the population are Muslims, while it is actually only 5 percent.

The biggest misconception in the Netherlands is about sexual harassment. The Dutch population thinks that 38 percent of women over the age of 15 have faced sexual harassment. The actual figure is 73 percent.

When it comes to the climate, the population of every studied country thinks that the situation is much rosier than it actually is. The average Dutch person thinks that 22 percent of the country's energy come from renewable sources, while it is actually 6 percent. Citizens were asked how many of the past 18 years were the hottest ever since the start of measurements in 1961. The Dutch guessed seven. In reality 17 of the past 18 years broke heat records.

Dutch people also have a wrong perception on unemployment. The Dutch think that 18 percent of the population are unemployed. In reality the unemployment rate is 4 percent. 

Ipsos arranged the 37 tested countries in order of accuracy. The Netherlands came in 22nd place, in order from least accurate to most accurate. The most accurate are Hong Kong, New Zealand and Sweden. While the least accurate are Thailand, Mexico and Turkey.