The number of people living below the official poverty line in the Netherlands rose to almost 8% of the population last year, according to a new report by socio-economic think-tank SCP and national statistics office CBS.
Relatively seen, there are more poor people in the big three cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, but there are pockets of poverty around the country, particularly in Leeuwarden, the report shows.
Single parent families, immigrants and people on welfare benefits are most likely to be classed as poor and children account for one in three people below the poverty line.
Since 2007, the number of people classed by the SCP as poor has gone up by 412,000 to 1.26 million, out of a population of 17 million. 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.
The SCP puts the poverty level at €1,060 net for a single person, €1,770 net for a couple with one child and €1,600 for a single parent with two children.
If a second definition is used – that of the low income threshold – the number of people in the Netherlands classed as poor rises to over 10%.
In October, a report drawn up by the Platform31 urban research centre in The Hague and the European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN) said 2.5 million Dutch people live below the poverty line in the Netherlands – that is 14% of the population.
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