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Most (but not all) Dutch happy and socially accepted

About 9 out of 10 Dutch people feel happy, especially those living with a partner. Meanwhile, although only a small percentage of the Dutch adult population is socially isolated, this is much more likely to be the case among certain groups, according to two new reports published by Statistics Netherlands.

During the period from 2008 to 2010, Dutch people living with a partner were more likely to describe themselves as happy than people without a partner (92 vs. 80 percent). The presence or absence of children had no effect if the respondent had a partner, but single parents are more often happy (85 percent) than singles without children living at home (77 percent).

Dutch people aged 18 to 25 are equally happy whether they have a partner or not, whereas adults over 25 are happier with a partner. This difference is most striking in the 45 to 65 year age group, where those with a partner are 21 percent more likely to describe themselves as happy; 45 to 65 year olds without a partner are less likely to be happy than those in any other age group.

Lower educated people are slightly less likely to be happy than higher educated people, and happiness is more closely linked to having a partner among lower educated people.

Just 4 percent of the Dutch population aged 16 or older were socially isolated as of 2010. However, young people (16 to 25), divorced people, non-westerners, and the lower educated are about twice as likely to be socially isolated.

Social exclusion is also related to health: the more socially isolated people are, the less likely they are to describe themselves as being in good or very good health. While 80 percent of the Dutch population considers themselves to be in good or very good health, among those who are socially excluded this is just 50 percent.

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Carly Blair

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