Hairline cracks are appearing but most Dutch are happy with life

Most Dutch are still content with their lives. Photo:

Although the quality of life in the Netherlands remains high, hairline cracks are emerging in the country’s social capital, national statistics agency CBS said on Wednesday.

The well-being of young adults is lower than the rest of the population and “relatively large” number of people feel they are part of a group that is discriminated against, the CBS said.

The findings come from the latest edition of the Monitor of Well-being which the CBS draws up for the government every year.

In particular, “society-related indicators show a number of trends pointing to stable or declining well-being”, the CBS said. “Contacts with family, friends or neighbours, taking part in club activities and voluntary work have all been decreasing for several years. Trust in institutions has also recently decreased across the board.”

Other “hairline cracks” highlighted in the report are lower levels of trust in the judicial system, and an increase in perceived corruption. “These deteriorations affect not only well-being ‘here and now’, but also well-being ‘later’,” the CBS said.

Nevertheless, objective indicators, such as employment and disposable income, show positive changes and 83% of the population currently rate their life at least seven out of 10, the survey showed.

Young adults, however, are more negative and this is partly down do housing costs and coronavirus, CBS expert Peter Hein van Mulligen told the AD.

“People in their 20s and 30s were significantly more affected by the many lockdown measures than older Dutch people,” he said. “These affected their work and private lives considerably… and it is quite conceivable that this has had an impact on their well-being.”

The Netherlands also scores well when compared with other EU countries, apart from on housing, the CBS said.

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