People in the Netherlands watching more television
Dutch people watched more television in the last six months than they ever have before. Currently, the average Dutch person watches around 201 minutes, or nearly 3,5 hours, per day.
That is an increase of seven minutes from last year, where people watched an average of 192 minutes per day, a number which was itself a five minute increase from 2011.
More TV more often
It is a 1 per cent increase from the previous six months and the highest number since the current measurement began in 2007.
The increase is due to greater use of catch-up services over the internet or other on demand viewing, although these accounted for only nine minutes of the total 201.
Nevertheless, that is up from six minutes in the same period last year.
That this sort of viewing is set to increase is clear, as currently there is already one hard disk recorder on the television in one out of three households.
The programme that attracted the most viewers in July 2013 was the Dutch soap opera, Goede Tijd, Slechte Tijd, which is screened on Fridays.
Second was Tuesday night news Journaal 20 Uur, followed by coverage of the Tour de France.
Rest of Europe
Overall, time spent watching television in Europe in 2012 increased by seven minutes per day to an average of 235 minutes per person.
Countries that are hardest hit by the financial crisis had the highest viewing numbers.
Romania was the highest, with 330 minutes per person (5,5 hours), while Greece was second with 273 minutes, then Italy with 254 minutes and Spain with 246 minutes.
Given these numbers it would seem that despite the increase, the Dutch are not chronic couch potatoes. So what are people doing with their spare time?
Not seeing friends or family every night, that’s for sure. Statistics from Eurostat show that the Dutch are less likely than most other European nationalities to meet up with a friend or family member each day.
Only 9,6 per cent of Dutch people reported seeing friends daily, as opposed to 17,3 per cent of Belgians, 26 per cent of Spaniards and 45 per cent of Greeks.
They’re even less likely to catch up with family members. A measly 5,4 per cent of the population report seeing relatives daily, in contrast to 16 per cent of Germans, 25 per cent of Italians and 38 per cent of Portuguese.
Also, around half the population do not go once to the cinema, theatre, museums or sporting events over the course of a month. So what are Dutch people doing, given they have the shortest work week in the world?