Negative mood in NL worsened last year, but 85% are happy with their lives

The upside down flag is a sign of protest. Photo:
The upside down flag is a sign of protest. Photo:

The negative mood in the Netherlands worsened considerably last year, with the percentage of people thinking society is heading in the wrong direction rising from 46% in the spring to 62% by the autumn, according to new research by the government’s socio-cultural think tank SCP.

The percentage of people expecting the economy to worsen also rose from 63% to 73%, the SCP said, quoting figures from its continuous survey of public perspectives.

At the same time, however, 85% say they are satisfied with their own lives, a figure which has not changed for several years.

The change in attitudes toward politics appears to derive from the perceived accumulation of social problems: new problems are being added without old ones being solved, the SCP said.

People still worry about politics, high prices, income inequality, immigration, the shortage of affordable housing and climate action. But in late summer 2022, immigration and rising prices caused the most concern, and a new concern was added: the nitrogen crisis, the agency pointed out.

The SCP survey also shows that dissatisfaction with politicians is still increasing. In autumn 2022, just 43% said they had confidence in parliament, compared with 52% in the spring. Just 41% had confidence in the government, down from 50% earlier in the year.

In particular, people say politicians lack decisiveness and vision when it comes to solving the problems facing the Netherlands. They also see a divide between ‘The Hague’ and ordinary people and are unhappy that politicians stay in office no matter how many mistakes they make.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation