‘2.5 million people in the Netherlands live below the poverty line’

In total, 2.5 million people out of almost 17 million live below the poverty line in the Netherlands – that is 14% of the population – according to a new report.

But despite the economic crisis, this is only an increase of 1% over the past five years, says the report on the development of poverty in Europe. It was drawn up by the Platform31 urban research centre in The Hague and the European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN), news agency ANP reported.

The figures are far higher than other reports on poverty in the Netherlands, which say around 7.6% of people are living below the poverty line.

Poverty in the Netherlands is mainly confined to disadvantaged urban areas, the report says.

‘This concentration and exclusion from other groups in society reduces the chances poor people have to improve their situation,’ the report said. ‘This gives children unequal opportunities in education and then on the jobs market, the report said.

The ANP report on the research did not give a definition of poverty.

Poverty line

The Dutch government’s socio-cultural think tank said last December at least 1.2 million people were living in poverty in the Netherlands last year, less than half the Platform31 calculation.

The SCP puts the poverty line at €1,040 a month for single people and €1,430 for a couple. A couple with two children is classed as poor if their gross income is less than €1,960 – or €24,000 per year.

The SCP definition is based on having an income which is ‘not much but sufficient’ and includes what is considered necessary to eat, live, buy clothes and take part in social activities.