The quality of life in the Netherlands has shown improvement over the past 25 years, with crime rates falling, life expectancy increasing, people having more money to spend and educational standards improving, according to a major new report.
And, despite the apparent rise in anti-immigrant sentiment, attitudes to ‘foreigners’ have softened, with 31% of people thinking there are ‘too many people with other nationalities’ in the Netherlands today, compared with 49% in 1994.
The government’s socio-cultural think-tank SCP publishes its ‘state of the nation’ round-up every two years but this year has compared the situation in 2017 with that of the Netherlands 25 years ago.
The report shows that every group in society has progressed since then. Women are more likely to have a job, the number of people with a college or university degree has doubled to 26% and people feel themselves to be safer.
Some 85% of people are generally satisfied with their lives, a similar proportion to 25 years ago.
At the same time, there are ‘tough problems to crack and inequalities’, the researchers say.
The Netherlands is a wealthy country but the number of people living in poverty has risen from 5.7% in 1990 to 6.6% today. And, the SCP says, the problems facing a group of some 700,000 people, largely single parent families and immigrants living off welfare benefits, remain serious.
‘The task for the future should be to ensure as many people as possible are able to participate fully in society,’ the SCP said.
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