The number of children growing up in families which rely on welfare benefits (bijstand) rose to 223,000 last year, according to the national statistics office CBS.
This means 6.5% of all children in the Netherlands live in families with an income of just over €1,000 a month plus housing, healthcare and child subsidies. Their number has risen since 2009, when the figure was 5.2%.
Some 37% of children in families on welfare do not take part in non-school activities such as sport or music lessons because of a lack of cash and 16% don’t celebrate birthdays with presents, the CBS survey found.
Rotterdam has proportionally the most children growing up in minimum income households. In total, 18% of the port city’s children are poor. Amsterdam is next on the list with 14%. Small towns in the far north and south are also more likely to have a disproportionate number of families living on welfare, the CBS said.
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