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More Dutch households live in poverty, set to reach 9.4% next year

Thursday 06 December 2012

The number of single people and households living in poverty in the Netherlands has risen again this year to around 1.1 million, according to a new report by the government’s socio-cultural advisory group SCP and national statistics office CBS.

Single parent families, single people under the age of 65, immigrants and people living on welfare benefits are most likely to be living on or below the poverty line, the report shows.

Despite claims that pensioners are among the country’s poorest people, the report says this is not the case, despite a fall in spending power due to government policies.


The SCP bases its research on what it defines as a ‘not much but sufficient’ income of €1,020 a month for a single person. Using this definition, some 7.1% of the population lived in poverty in 2011, compared with 6% in 2010.

The SCP calculations are based on what is considered necessary to eat, live, buy clothes and take part in social activities. For example, a couple with two children and net income of under €1,920 a month last year would be considered poor by the SCP.

The CBS takes a basic income for a single person of €960 a month as its definition. This puts the number of households living in poverty at 8.7%. Its poverty line for a family with two children last year was €1,810.

Both organisations forecast a further increase in the number of people living in poverty this year and in 2013. For example, the CBS says 9.4% of households will not have enough to live on in 2013, taking likely inflation and other effects into account.

Read the summary (Dutch)

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

What we see as poverty is a rich life style for 3rd world immigrants. Having a free house, free healthcare, free money & having 5 kids all of the back of tax payers is hardly poverty!

By phil | 6 December 2012 11:10 AM

Creating good employment environment is very important to lift people out of proverty. Instead of tackling this issue head on, they are focusing on the wrong thing. This should set up a minister that just focus on creating good employment opportunities.

By ufo | 6 December 2012 11:43 AM

The poor get poorer and the rich get richer.....and 2013 won't be any different. so what else is new? We should all say thanks for what we do have.

By dee | 6 December 2012 1:31 PM

A net income of under €1,920 a month last year would be considered poor by the SCP. Wonder then what a net income of €875 for a single parent with two children is like living in the USA without any type of medical insurance. Immigrants get more free aid than citizens born in their own country as our taxes pay for them. Another four years of hell with Obama care. The Dutch SCP should see their cup as half full with their poverty ratings.

By Elaine | 6 December 2012 3:57 PM

I agree that the poverty levels as defined here are generous. But I think that is positive. I don't believe we should aim for the worse but for the better. It is good that standards are higher here.

By the_expat | 6 December 2012 5:38 PM

There is a big difference between poverty & low income. If I can manage to travel to the tropics every year, having only the NL minimum income, then there must be something wrong with this article: last time I saw poverty was in Manila last March.

For families with kids & single parents it's hard, but if you're single, look how much you spend that you don't need, people are good at wasting money here..After bills paid I try to manage on €35pw for the rest. I am always looking for new ways not to spend, my CV is still switched off: 18c and dropping ;)(30w elec. blanket instead.)

Don't let this article fool you please.

By The visitor | 6 December 2012 9:12 PM

I agree absolutely with phil. Though I am not living at poverty level, I dare not have kids because of financial insecurity. Whereas these people can have one kid after another without any consequences.

By Aha | 6 December 2012 10:18 PM

The metrics used to measure poverty in NL may be "generous" compared to the US, but that's missing the point. It shouldn't be about a race to the bottom.

Fact is, poverty and financial uncertainty are on the increase in Holland with no seeming end in sight. You can blame EU policy at-large and the financial crisis. You can blame the so-called "tidal wave' of immigration. However, since the relatively recent ascent of conservative political forces in NL, this deterioration has not only accelerated markedly, but is also increasingly affecting the Dutch middle class; not just poor people and immigrants.

The missing ingredient here is inequality, which also is clearly on the rise...

By Interested Observer | 7 December 2012 2:45 AM

Welcome to the United States of the Netherlands. Your country continues to mirror ours in some of the worst ways.

By Eric | 7 December 2012 5:24 AM

The visitor, I completely agree with you. Once we start looking at ways to cut costs, we can lead a decent life with a low income.

The poverty line is quite high up here. Perhaps that explains the fact that the Dutch are the happiest people on the earth.

By GGG | 7 December 2012 5:58 AM

No one wants handouts from the gov so we really hope the gov can create sufficient good stable jobs for her people. Attracting companies and investors to set up and hire is key here.

By ufo | 7 December 2012 9:02 AM

It would be virtually impossible to not have poverty increase as immigration from other poorer Euro states increases. The Prime Minister of Portugal went on TV and said young people should move to wealthier EU states where there are higher state benefits and better job propects. Spanish and Greek unemployment is crippling. Ireland has the fastest emigration since the famine. We will see far greater population movement from poorer to wealthier EU states because it is perfectly legal and makes complete sence for those looking for something better.

By Twickers | 7 December 2012 10:13 AM

all i see and read about is 'CUT COST' in europe. and yet other measures to creat a stable economic are ignored.

By lord neilson | 7 December 2012 6:20 PM

@Twickers: And that's exactly one of the main reasons why us Dutch have turned from tolerant to intolerant. We don't mind immigrants, but for what we offer, we want something back (same reason as why most of us hate the EU: we pay the most money per resident, but the EU seems to do as much as they can against us).

By Someone | 7 December 2012 10:20 PM

Most of the Dutch are still living in 1978 with their 'lees-maps'& 'gratis geld'..please someone wake 'em up!

By The visitor | 8 December 2012 9:42 PM

@UFO. If you have the time could you please call Obama , he needs intelligent input.

By Lee from Florida | 8 December 2012 11:06 PM

@Someone - my experience in the Netherlands is pretty different: I see lots of Dutch people taking advantage of the wellfare system, living in social houses even if they have pretty ok salaries, working part time, leaving the office every day at 17:30... Having the experience of several countries, I can say Dutch people are not big workers. As for how much they give to imigrants...hmm... I pay huge taxes on a high base and I get nothing instead - honestly I am not happy paying for a social house of someone who chooses to work part time or have 3 kids and keep the wife home to raise them.

By expat | 10 December 2012 9:58 AM

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