Richest and poorest Dutch people are mixing less

Richest and poorest Dutch people are mixing less

The wealthiest and poorest residents of the Netherlands are facing fewer opportunities to mix with each other, for example at work, in school or out in the neighbourhood, according to the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP). The study found that most people spend their daily lives around people from the same demographic as them. 

Prosperous Dutchies tend to live together in expensive neighbourhoods

The study showed that high-income earners tend to live in more expensive neighbourhoods, especially in wealth bubbles in Eindhoven and the northern part of the Randstad area. SCP’s research named the towns of Bloemendaal, Heemstede and Laren as particular cases of this, as the house prices are higher in these locations, attracting wealthier residents. 

This effect was shown to be even more pronounced among low-income earners: those who earn lower salaries reside together, such as in the east of Groningen, southern Randstad and Zuid-Limburg neighbourhoods. In the studied period (2011 to 2020), “Poor people in particular saw a further decline in prosperity in their neighbourhood,” the SCP said. “During this period, the government did less to improve vulnerable neighbourhoods, and the role of housing associations became smaller.”

Experts are concerned about increasing segregation in Dutch society

Experts in the Netherlands will not be enthused by the results of the study, as the lack of opportunities for wealthy and low-income earners in the Netherlands to mix symbolises the growing segregation that many organisations argue is taking place in Dutch society. According to the SCP, the increase in segregation between different groups in Dutch society goes hand-in-hand with unequal opportunities and hinders social cohesion and mutual understanding.

Lotte Vermeij of the SCP explained that there are ways that society can encourage different groups of people to mix in the Netherlands. “The renewed attention to improving neighbourhoods is an example of this. It is not just about the question of who lives where, but also about how people can meet each other. It requires an attractive public space, widely accessible public facilities, and a connecting association life.”

Thumb image credit: Maarten Zeehandelaar /

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

Read more



Leave a comment