People living in the northern province of Friesland may be among the poorest in the country but they are happier than most, researchers at national statistics agency CBS said on Thursday.
While metropolitan areas like Amsterdam, Utrecht and Delft produce more wealth, that does not make their populations happier, the CBS said.
In Friesland GDP per head of the population was €34,800 in 2021, well below the national average of €49,100. Nevertheless, the province has the happiest residents of all 12 provinces,the CBS figures show. Only Drenthe had a lower GDP.
Amsterdam has the highest GDP per resident at almost €92,000.
Frisians’ happiness is down to having plenty of contact with friends, family and neighbours, having good health and being happy in their homes, the CBS researchers say. The province has also plenty of pleasant countryside and relatively little pollution.
By contrast, the Rijnmond area, which includes Rotterdam, is relatively prosperous in terms of GDP but scores poorly in terms of wider well-being, such as health, access to nature and employment. Its residents are also among the poorest in the Netherlands.