Wednesday 20 November 2019

Suburban estates don’t encourage divorce, survey finds

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Photo: Depositphotos.com

People who live in out-of town residential areas built in the 1990s onwards to cope with the rising population are less likely to divorce than couples in traditional towns, according to national statistics office CBS.

These suburban locations are known as Vinex neighbourhoods after the legislation pushed through parliament to speed up their development.

The areas attract a relatively high percentage of young families, with high enough incomes to own their homes and who are relatively ambitious, the CBS said. They are traditionally less likely to divorce than the low-skilled living in rental accommodation.

Of every 1,000 couples in a Vinex development in January 2014, 26 had divorced a year later. In the Netherlands as a whole 33 in 1,000 couples a year will divorce.

There are however, wide differences between the developments themselves. Houten, for example, has an even lower divorce rate but in the Amsterdam development of IJburg, 36 in 1,000 couples will divorce within a year.

New homes

The name Vinex wijk comes from a 1993 government report entitled Vierde nota ruimtelijke ordening extra (supplement to the fourth white paper on spatial planning) which led to a government agreement to foster the building of 634,800 new homes by 2015.

The new estates were particularly popular with young families but were soon criticised for not having enough facilities such as shops.

Four years ago, sociologists warned that Vinex neighbourhoods could become the ghettos of the future because of the poor mix of housing, leisure and recreation.

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