CBS: Over 200.000 children in the Netherlands live at risk of poverty

CBS: Over 200.000 children in the Netherlands live at risk of poverty

According to recent figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), 209.000 children in the Netherlands are living at risk of poverty, with their parents earning a salary below the national low-income threshold. 

6,6 percent of Dutch children live in low-income households

The Dutch statistics office has revealed that, in 2021, 891.000 people in the Netherlands were living in low-income households. Last year, the low-income threshold was set at 1.130 euros a month (net) for single-person households, 1.590 euros for couples without children, 2.170 euros for couples with two children, and 1.720 for single-parent households with two children under the age of 18. 

While the proportion of people in the Netherlands living at risk of poverty remained fairly stable between 2020 and 2021 (5,4 percent), the number of children living in low-income households has fallen slightly, from 6,8 percent in 2020 to 6,6 percent last year. This equates to approximately 209.000 children. 

The news comes as schools across the country are working to ensure all students eat both breakfast and lunch, with a secondary school in Amsterdam announcing this week it had started offering students free breakfasts every day of the week. "I sometimes see children trembling with hunger,” the headmaster told AT5. The Red Cross has also reported an increase in the number of people in the Netherlands soliciting the help of food banks to feed themselves and their families.

Freelancers and entrepreneurs more at risk of poverty

Freelancers and entrepreneurs were found to face a higher risk of poverty than workers with stable incomes and jobs in the Netherlands. In all, 67.000 self-employed people were at risk of poverty in 2021.

With those living in the Netherlands facing rising prices and high inflation, it’s likely unsurprising that CBS found that those from low-income households in 2021 reported that their financial situation had deteriorated in 2022. The percentage of people who said they had money left over at the end of their month fell from 24 percent last year to just 20 percent in 2022. 

People in the Netherlands uncertain about future finances

Overall, people living and working in the Netherlands - including those who aren’t at risk of poverty - feel less secure in their financial situation and are concerned about their future finances. CBS has found that, while people felt more positive in 2021 than they did in 2020, 2022 has once again seen a rise in feelings of uncertainty across all groups. 

Within the low-income group, 45 percent said they felt their financial situation would deteriorate in the next 12 months. Amongst those earning salaries above the low-income threshold, the percentage who worried the situation would get worse over the course of the coming year rose from 19 percent in 2021 to 36 percent this year.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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