Statistics

It may be over-sensitivity on our part, but the Netherlands does seem to be rather obsessed with the statistical analysis of its non-native population at the moment. Today’s papers are once again full of facts highlighting the fact that ‘they’ are different from ‘us’.


The Telegraaf informs us that immigrants are far less likely to use a bike than the native Dutch – but more likely to use public transport because they don’t have cars. And second generation immigrant girls hardly cycle at all – probably because the bike has a low status, the researchers say.
The bike isn’t exactly the favourite form of transport for inner-city white girls either, but there you go.
Then the Metro has published a survey by the Astma Fonds (Asthma Fund), which says immigrants from non-western countries are more likely to suffer from asthma, hay fever and lung problems.
This is probably to do with lifestyle, hygiene and genetic make-up, according to the researchers. Or could it be poor housing and a life-time of inhaling cleaning products?
So, along comes the national statistics office to tell us the obvious fact that the long-term unemployed are most likely to be older, non-western immigrants. Clearly because they’ve all got lung problems or asthma which is why they don’t ride a bike in the first place.