More Amsterdam households struggling with long-term poverty

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam Centrum along the Amstel, Netherlandsphb.czDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

While the number of Amsterdam households who live below the poverty line is decreasing, the number of households who deal with poverty for years increased over the past year. In 2013, 58 percent of low income households were living in poverty long-term, in 2017 it was 65 percent, the municipality of Amsterdam said in a press release.

"Poverty stands in the way of equal opportunities and hinders a large group of Amsterdammers from fully participating. It is precisely the group that lives below the poverty line for a long time that often faces low literacy, a low level of education, unemployment, little work experience, debts, poor health and loneliness", alderman Marjolein Moorman said. "We therefore invest more than 100 million euros a year in combating poverty and debt issues."

And the city's efforts in fighting poverty are having effect. The number of Amsterdam children growing up in poverty decreased for the third year in a row, from 19 percent or 27,090 children in 2016 to 18.3 percent or 26.039 children in 2017. 

The fact that fewer Amsterdam kids grow up in poverty is hopeful, Moorman said. "But there are still too many children in this city who grow up in poverty. The differences between rich and poor are large, which means that there is still an inequality of opportunity and that must end. In Amsterdam, every child must be given every opportunity, regardless of your parents' income."

The number of low income households is also decreasing. In 2017, 17.2 percent of Amsterdam households had low incomes, or up to 120 percent of the statutory minimum income. In 2016 it was 17.6 percent.