1.2 million Dutch households below poverty line, 11% of children are poor

At least 1.2 million people were living in poverty in the Netherlands last year, a rise of over 150,000 people on 2011, according to a new report.

Research by the national statistics office CBS and the government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP, shows 7.6% of the population is now living below the poverty line. Last year’s rise is the sharpest since the economic crisis began in 2008.

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, which is different to that used by the CBS, 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.


In particular, people living on welfare benefits, single mothers and migrants are likely to live in poverty, the report said. A large part of the 348,000 working poor are self-employed, the report said. Over 11% of Dutch children are now growing up in poverty, using the SCP definition.

Most poor households live in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague but there are also pockets of rising poverty in Limburg province and in Leeuwarden, where the rate is over 25% in one district.

The SCP expects a significant rise in people living in poverty this year, but says the growth will not be as sharp as in 2012.

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