Almost 90 percent of adults in the Netherlands happy with life

Almost 90 percent of adults in the Netherlands happy with life

According to a new report by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), almost 90 percent of the Netherlands’ population reported being happy with life in 2018. This figure has hardly changed since 1997.

Young people slightly less happy

Compared to 1997, fewer young people aged between 18 and 25 reported being happy. However the difference is not that great, namely 91 percent in 1997, as opposed to 86 percent last year.

When it comes to those aged between 55 and 65, satisfaction has actually increased, with 89 percent now reporting being happy. In 1997, this figure was 84 percent. It used to be the case that those under 55 in 1997 were happier than those older than 55; however, this is no longer true.

More adults satisfied with life

In 2018, 86 percent of adults were satisfied with life, slightly more than the 84 percent who reported the same thing in 1997. The group with the highest increase in satisfaction with life in the last 21 years are the 25 to 35 year-olds. This group went from 79 percent satisfied with life to 85 percent. In 1997, this group was actually the least satisfied of all the age groups; now there is no difference between them and other groups.

In the Netherlands, slightly more people report being “happy” than “satisfied with life”. However, both follow a similar trend over the past 21 years.

Certain groups not as happy

According to the report, a smaller proportion with a lower level of education reported being happy in 2018 compared to 1997. Amongst those with a high level of education the percentage of people reporting being happy has not changed. In fact, a larger proportion of highly educated people reported being satisfied with life than in 1997. For those with a lower level of education, satisfaction with life remains the same as it was 21 years ago.

Those with a non-western background were happier in 2018 than they were in 1997. However, when you compare those with a Dutch background to this group, fewer people with a non-western background reported being happy or satisfied with life.

Mina Solanki


Mina Solanki

Completed her Master's degree at the University of Groningen and worked as a translator before joining IamExpat. She loves to read and has a particular interest in Greek mythology. In...

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