Young people, immigrants more dissatisfied with Dutch life
Young adults aged 25 to 35 and first- and second-generation immigrants are less satisfied with life in the Netherlands, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) found in its Broad Prosperity Monitor. Older Dutch, on the other hand, saw most of their prosperity indicators improve compared to the previous monitor in 2019.
CBS studies broad prosperity based on 13 indicators for well-being, material prosperity, health, work and leisure, housing, society, safety, and the environment. For young adults, eight of these indicators are below average.
“They are less satisfied with their work, the amount of free time, their home, and their life in general,” CBS said. They also tend not to do volunteer work, have little or no assets, are relatively often victims of crime, and suffer from pollution in their living environment more than average. On the plus side, young adults score well in terms of health, employment, and trust in other people.
In contrast to young adults, people in the age groups 35 to 55, 55 to 65, and 65 to 75 saw their indicators improve compared to 2019. They have more disposable income than average, they’re happy with their work, they volunteer, they trust other people and institutions, and they don’t often suffer from pollution in their living environments.
There are also major differences between broad prosperity when you look at education level and where people come from. “Favorable outcomes clearly prevail among the highly educated and people born in the Netherlands with parents who were also born here,” CBS said.
For example, people with Dutch-only backgrounds were above average satisfied in 11 of the 13 indicators. While people who moved to the Netherlands from outside Europe were unhappy with 12 indicators, and people who were born in the Netherlands but whose parents moved from outside Europe scored negatively on nine indicators.
CBS also noted that the quality of life is high in the Netherlands, but there are some rising problems. “Although the economy and energy use are gradually becoming more sustainable, the quality of nature and ecosystems is deteriorating,” CBS said. “The quality of social connections is also under pressure.” Both these factors will put future generations at a disadvantage in achieving the same level of prosperity as the current generations.
In the field of work and income, many indicators are developing favorably, such as the unemployment rate, disposable income, work satisfaction, and concerns about job retention. But the predominantly high prosperity also has a downside, CBS said. “Mental fatigue due to work is increasing, worries about one’s financial future are growing recently, and satisfaction with the amount of free time is decreasing.” Housing is also becoming increasingly expensive.