The number of low income households in the Netherlands remained virtually unchanged last year despite sustained economic growth, national statistics agency CBS said on Wednesday.
In total, 6.2% of households can be classified as poor, based on a monthly income of €1,090 for a single person and €2,080 for a couple, the CBS said.
The Netherlands currently has a population of 17.4 million, and this means more than a million people were part of a household on or below the poverty level. Roughly 40% of them have been in this position for the past four years, despite six years of successive economic growth.
People in work are least likely to live on or below the poverty line – just 1.5% of the 6.5 million people in regular employment could be classed as poor, the CBS said.
The figures also show that nearly 8% of the country’s children are living in a low income household, a slight drop on 2018. Around half the children living in poverty have an ethnic minority background.
Meanwhile, research published by the government’s macro-economic think-tank CPB suggests that one in four students who come from a low income household are not claiming the financial help they are entitled to.
Although grants were abolished for most students in 2015, youngsters from low income households are entitled to up to €400 a month towards the cost of their study.
The figures indicate that some students do not know about how to claim the money, the CPB said.
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