Happiness of people in the Netherlands falls after coronavirus crisis
Research conducted by Rabobank economists has revealed that people in the Netherlands have become less happy as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
The coronavirus has made people less happy
The results of the 2020 study revealed that the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the prosperity and happiness of people in the Netherlands. Three areas in particular have suffered a blow this year: social contacts, housing, and subjective well-being.
Subjective well-being - the general feeling of happiness - was most affected by the coronavirus: 29 percent of respondents said that they were less happy now than they were last year, and only 23 percent said they were happier. The researchers from the Dutch bank have labelled this a significant deterioration.
Furthermore, the researchers found that many people felt their social contacts had come under pressure during the coronavirus lockdown. Respondents also registered a general feeling of dissatisfaction with their housing; however, this trend has apparently been visible for some time.
Affects of the coronavirus in the Netherlands
The annual welfare study carried out by Rabobank economists assesses a wide variety of societal issues in the Netherlands. It asks respondents for their opinion on a number of topics, including the environment, housing, safety, and social contact, and asks them to evaluate their income and health. This year, over 5.500 people responded to the survey.
According to the researchers, a feeling of discontent has likely been exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, as many people were forced to work from home, holidays were cancelled or postponed, many (social) events couldn’t take place, and children were unable to go to school. However, the overall prosperity of the Netherlands was on the whole unaffected by the pandemic.
Rabobank economists are calling on the Dutch government to monitor a number of aspects of prosperity when tacking the after-effects of the coronavirus, and not just address issues of public health and the economy. They anticipate that unemployment will continue to rise, and that this will put further strain on households and the future of the Dutch economy.
"The first cracks are already visible,” researchers said. “The fact that the effect of the coronavirus crisis on the overall broad prosperity is still relatively small at the moment does not mean that the impact of the coronavirus crisis cannot be even greater in the future."