Sunday 22 September 2019

Ede is the happiest Dutch town and Rotterdam is bottom of the list

Ede looks idyllic in winter. Photo: By Rasbak via Wikimedia Commons

People who live in the Dutch countryside are happier than those who live in towns, according to the latest edition of the Atlas voor Gemeenten – an atlas covering a broad spectrum of information about the 50 biggest Dutch local authority areas.

The new edition, published on Thursday, includes a ‘happiness map’ and shows that having a job (whether paid or unpaid), friends and good health are key to good fortune. But the map also shows that the residents of the Netherlands four big cities are less happy than those living in smaller towns.

The happiest place to live is the Gelderland town of Ede, where 89% are pleased with their lot, followed by Alphen aan den Rijn and Amstelveen. Rotterdam comes bottom of the list with a happiness rating of 82%.

‘Cities attract people who are looking for happiness,’ researcher Gerard Marlet told broadcaster NOS. ‘They think they will find a suitable partner, a job, or more fun things to do in their spare time. But this does not mean they will be happier than they were before.’

Rich, white, well-educated, married Christian pensioners with children who no longer live at home are most likely to say they have found good fortune, the Atlas shows. has been free for 12 years, but now we are asking our readers to help. Your donation will enable us to keep providing you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch.
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